Berlin / Brussels (dpa) – The federal government has no specific plans yet for further travel restrictions – but according to a spokeswoman for his house, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has already made suggestions for a possible “limitation of travel options”.
The topic was also raised in the cabinet, deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said in Berlin. This week, however, the federal government wants to wait for the results of the vote in Brussels on travel and containment measures at European level. “Of course that does not rule out national action,” added Demmer.
Seehofer told the “Bild” Tuesday: “The danger of the numerous virus mutations requires us to investigate drastic measures and discuss them in the federal government.” This included “much stricter border controls”, especially at the borders with risk areas, “but also the reduction of air traffic to Germany to almost zero”.
The aviation organization IATA is critical of these proposals. “We are very concerned that governments will want to stop air traffic,” said IATA chief Alexandre de Juniac in Geneva. “We don’t support that.” Air traffic should not become “a scapegoat,” said Nick Careen, who is responsible for airport security: “We say you can manage borders safely.”
The Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Manuela Schwesig (SPD), backed possible efforts to further restrict cross-border travel. This is an important contribution to prevent the spread of highly contagious mutations in the coronavirus. “Our country has always argued, even against the wind, that we should limit the travel industry, especially the international one, more,” Schwesig said in Schwerin state parliament. It’s not about isolating yourself from other states or people. “It’s about closing yourself off from the mutation caused by traveling from one country to another,” Schwesig said.
Thomas Bareiß, the federal government’s tourism commissioner, warned of further drastic restrictions on air traffic. This would be another hard blow to the travel industry, the CDU politician from the German news agency said. “Only recently have we set strict testing and quarantine requirements to account for the increased risk of virus mutations. We must not jeopardize confidence in these procedures. “
In Belgium, a new regulation came into force on Wednesday that prohibits unnecessary movements from or to Belgium. Accordingly, holiday and leisure trips are no longer allowed until March 1. This is to prevent new corona infections from entering the country. The ban must be controlled in road, air, ship and train traffic. There are exceptions, however. The movement of goods must continue to flow. Visits to a spouse or partner, travel for work or study purposes and for funerals of family members are also permitted.
The following currently applies to entry into Germany: Anyone coming from a corona-risk area should be tested upon arrival and quarantined as a precaution. An electronic booking report is also required. Stricter rules apply to people who come from areas with particularly high infection rates or from so-called mutation areas. You must be able to show the negative corona test upon arrival. However, there is currently only one veil hunt and no stationary border controls at Germany’s land borders. In practice, this means that not everyone who enters the country without an entry registration and corona test enters the country from a risk area.