German border controls to be eased slightly

by Thorsten Koch

The border controls between Germany and some of the neighboring countries, which have been introduced in order to reduce the negative effects of the Corona crisis, are to be eased, albeit with caution, from Saturday. As Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CDU) announced on Wednesday, Germany has agreed a gradual procedure of easing with the governments of France, Austria and Switzerland. From the weekend onwards, there should only be sporadic checks at the borders, and again at all border crossings. Towards Luxembourg, to begin with, the controls will be completely eliminated. The border crossings with the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Poland are not checked in a regular manner by the German authorities. However, the Czech Republic and Poland can have very strict entry requirements. Since March 16, only those who have a good reason have been able to enter into Germany. Unmarried partners from two nations should now be able to see each other, said Seehofer. School groups could also meet soon.

Prolongation of controls until mid-June

Seehofer sees a complete disappearance of border controls only towards June 15. Until then, the key rule should continue to exist that there must be a valid reason for entry. In case the number of new infections in regions beyond the German border increases again, more systematic checks will be necessary. Seehofer agreed with the EU Commission in its recommendations to extend the entry restrictions from third countries into the EU, due to the Corona pandemic, until June 15.

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