We have closed this border for good reason, to protect the health of the population from coronavirus mutations that are highly infectious and potentially more deadly. This is how the German Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, justified the closure of borders that Germany applies on its border with the Austrian Tyrol and the Czech Republic. Sehhofer has personally gone to one of these checks on the Czech line, Breitenau, to check on the spot the difficulties that this decision is causing the transit of goods and to explain a decision that has drawn severe criticism from neighboring countries and partners Europeans. “This measure is also of interest to the Czech Republic,” he said, “because its authorities also want to stop the spread of these infections.” “In Germany, the population is under severe restrictions, many businesses cannot open their doors, many workers work part-time and others have lost their jobs.
Under these conditions, it would be unjustifiable for us to let in the mutations of the virus without trying to resist, that would reduce the credibility of the government’s efforts to resolve this health crisis, ”was his explanation. The objective of the visit was to personally verify that the controls are carried out with “professionalism” and “without exceptions”, after last Monday, with the temperatures dropping and kilometer queues of trucks waiting to present their documentation, some controls decided to apply the wide sleeve and thus release the traffic. On the Waidhaus steps, the queues continue to reach 20 kilometers. Mike, a German truck driver an hour from home, has had to spend a whole night waiting. «For me, it has not been so difficult. My wife brought me some hot food and coffee, warm clothes and a change of clothes. But for many other colleagues, it is being hell. Here there are no toilets and no way to buy food.
It is absurd to think that these people are going to introduce virus mutations in Germany, they just want to get to their destination and deliver the cargo. They are professionals and have been fully respecting all safety regulations for a whole year now, “he complains. The police who carry out the border closure has a bit more luck. “We went out to the streets for an hour to check or watch the queues and then we went in to warm up,” one of them told German television Sat 1. More than a thousand agents have been displaced from other Bundesländer to support the border closure operation.
One of the exceptions to which passage is allowed is that of foreigners employed by German companies whose work is considered to be of “systemic importance”. More than 2,500 companies have requested the special certificate to be issued by the Regensburg Chamber of Commerce for this purpose, according to its spokesman Richard Brunner. “They are exhausting all legal possibilities to not lose a level of activity,” he explains. The border closure caught companies off guard and Germany granted a moratorium on this exception until Friday, February 19, but from that date on, workers will not be able to cross as they usually do daily to go to their job. Even so, the Federal Police and the Bavarian Border Police had to return more than 6,700 people of the around 48,600 controlled between February 14 and 16, for not meeting the entry requirements.
The measure is causing absurd situations in a border region where the population is used to crossing daily and for the most diverse reasons. The local press has published the case of a grandmother who was unable to pick up her four-year-old grandson from the Niederndorf kindergarten, on the Tyrolean side, because she did not carry a negative coronavirus test of a maximum of 48 hours. In case of having had the test, he would have to have kept quarantined for ten days upon returning home. We all know each other here. Under normal conditions, I would have picked up my grandson without coming into contact with anyone else, as I usually do, but since the minister has come, the police are afraid to make an exception, although they know perfectly well who I am and that I am not going to catch it. He lamented, “in the end, they had to bring the child to the border and they did let him in, of course.
Regarding the transport of goods, companies are also looking for returns to the situation to avoid closure. The German Hegelmann Group describes in a press release that it diverted some transports from Italy through the border triangle between Italy, Austria, and Slovenia in Karawanken, and some of its Czech imports are passing through Poland. “When this is not possible, drivers will have to wait,” the statement certifies. The situation for drivers is’ alarming ‘, according to the German company, and’ demand-based delivery commitments are no longer possible under these conditions, so there could be production stoppages and empty shelves in supermarkets again “Says Siegfried Hegelmann, Managing Director of the Hegelmann Group.