Germany’s government has tightened its border controls, while urging its citizens not to make unnecessary trips to France, Denmark, Austria, and the Czech Republic, amid the fears that the country could see further rising in COVID-19 infection rates amid the third wave of the virus.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control has stressed that all persons coming to Germany from any of the countries mentioned above will be obliged to present a negative result of the Coronavirus test upon their arrival, which should not be older than 48 hours, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Citizens of Germany’s neighboring countries, which are being considered as profoundly affected by the virus, after presenting a negative COVID-19 test result when entering the country, will then have to stay self-isolated for ten days. The quarantine period can be shortened after a second negative test taken after five days.
The head of the public health institute RKI, Lothar H. Wieler, has pointed out that Germany could face over 100,000 infections a day if the third wave of the COVID-19 spreads unchecked.
However, the Federal Republic of Germany’s recent preventive measure may cause new difficulties for cross-border workers of neighboring countries, especially for tens of thousands of French residents who cross the frontier each day for work purposes.
French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune has stressed that cross-border workers living in France’s eastern region and traveling into Germany every day will have to take two Coronavirus tests per week.
In this regard, France’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said that random German checks and mandatory tests would be enforced on the French border.
“The pandemic in Germany is exploding faster than they thought,” the minister has emphasized.
Nineteen zones in France have been placed under lockdown while over 4,700 persons are treated in intensive care.
France’s capital is one of the worst affected zones from the COVID-19, with nearly 600 cases per 100,000 people, while the average rate in the past weeks is more than 200 cases. As for Germany, the average rate is 199 per 100,000 people.
Based on Worldometers’ statistics, Germany is the tenth most infected country worldwide from the virus. Over 2,772,690 persons have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, while 76,404 persons have died.
While infections are running at over 20,000 a day, German Health Minister Jens Spahn has stressed that “if this continues unchecked, we run the risk of our health system hitting breaking point in April.”
Poland has also reported an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The country is being affected by the rapid spread of the UK’s variant.
Slovakia and the Czech Republic are also considered high-risk countries; however, they have reported lower infection rates than before.
Authorities in Germany are planning to make it compulsory for all persons wishing to enter its territory to show a negative result of the COVID-19 test before boarding the plane, even for countries that are not considered profoundly affected by the virus.