Strict restrictions on Germany’s borders will be extended for another eight days, despite criticism from the European Commission.
This is reported by DPA.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry confirmed that the border restrictions, which prohibit the vast majority of people from entering from the Czech Republic and the Austrian state of Tyrol, will remain in place until March 3.
These two regions were added to the list of “areas of concern” on February 14, along with Slovakia. The Interior Ministry first agreed to keep the restrictions on Germany’s land borders for 10 days.
The European Commission has sent a special letter to Germany, in which it notes that the country’s border crossing rules are excessive.
“We believe that the goal that Germany justifiably pursues-protecting public health during a pandemic-can be achieved with less restrictive measures,” the letter says.
The letter is dated February 22 and gives Germany 10 days to respond. In theory, the dispute could lead to legal action against a member State, although this is considered unlikely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The German Minister for Europe, Michael Roth, defended the restrictions and said that the country considers them necessary to contain new strains of coronavirus.
Similar letters were sent to Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, and Sweden, whose border restrictions also met with disapproval in Brussels.