This Sunday, entry restrictions and border controls to the neighboring states of Austria and the Czech Republic are due to come into force because of the corona mutants that are widespread there. This ignites criticism and the police union has its concerns about the rules.
Border only open to commuters
From Sunday, only Germans, foreigners with residence and residence permit in Germany, seasonal agricultural workers and health workers are allowed to enter Austria from the Czech Republic and large parts of Tyrol. In order to enforce the ban, the federal police are preparing for stationary border controls.
As the Federal Ministry of the Interior further explained, spouses, registered partners, minor children and parents of minor children are also allowed to come, but only if they cross the border together with the German relative. Truck drivers and other transport personnel in freight transport are also exempt from the ban. In addition, entry for urgent humanitarian reasons, for example in the event of a death, should be allowed. Test and quarantine regulations also apply in exceptional cases. The re should be no restriction of entry to certain border crossings. The regulations apply to those arriving from the Czech Republic and Tyrol with the exception of the Lienz district, the Jungholz community and the Riss valley in the Vomp and Eben am Achensee area.
The EU and neighboring countries are critical
The EU Commission, on the other hand, asked Germany to grant exceptions for commuters, for example. A spokesman for the authority recalled that the EU states had only recently agreed on joint recommendations for traveling in Corona times. Expect all countries to act accordingly. However, the new restrictions and border controls that will apply from Sunday do not provide for such exceptions.
Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer once again sharply rejected the criticism expressed by Brussels about the border controls along the Czech and Austrian borders.
“That’s enough! The EU Commission has made enough mistakes in procuring vaccines in the last few months. The EU Commission should support us and not throw clubs between our legs with cheap advice.” Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU)
Tyrol’s governor Günther Platter and his deputy Ingrid Felipe were also outraged. This would make work impossible for thousands of Tyroleans who commuted to work in Bavaria, said Plattner. According to the current Bavarian rules, people who lived in Germany but worked in Tyrol would also have to go into quarantine on their return journey.
“This would mean that cross-border joint work and economic activity in the border regions would virtually come to a standstill, which can also not be in Germany’s interest. We expect, as demanded by the European Commission, that Germany will create appropriate exemptions here.” Günther Platter, Governor of Tyrol
His deputy Ingrid Felipe spoke about transit traffic and fears truck traffic jams at the border. “Because of the controls on entry into Germany, Tyrol cannot become a truck parking lot in Europe,” said Felipe in a press release. In this case, Tyrol, for its part, would have to take further steps so that there would not be an enormous backlog of trucks in Tyrol, said Felipe, without specifying the further steps.
Police poorly equipped for border controls
Meanwhile, the police union (GdP) criticized the equipment of the federal police. “ The technical equipment of the federal police leaves a lot to be desired. The re is a lack of container offices, toilet vehicles and large tents to carry out the controls,” said the chairman of the GdP district of the federal police, Andreas Roßkopf, of the Rheinische Post. The federal police are not well enough staffed for border controls either. The re is a risk that those familiar with the area will bypass the controls on field and forest paths. To prevent this, more emergency services are needed.
“I reckon with an additional effort of several hundred from the riot police who will be permanently on duty.” Andreas Roßkopf, GdP District Federal Police
Slovakia also affected by restrictions
The federal government also classified the EU country Slovakia on Friday as an area with particularly dangerous virus mutations, as the Robert Koch Institute announced on its website. This means that airlines as well as bus and train companies are no longer allowed to carry passengers from Slovakia to Germany. This does not apply to German citizens or foreigners living in Germany.