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Germany to impose traffic restrictions to its border with France

Germany will impose covid traffic restrictions on the French border due to the Moselle department being classified as a high-risk zone for coronavirus. France is demanding more flexibility when it comes to border crossings.

The French department of Moselle will be classified as an area affected by the Covid-19 variants of the coronavirus from midnight on March 2, the German Koch Institute reported on Sunday. From that day on, people entering Germany from the Moselle will have to present a negative PCR or antigen test.

French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune pointed to the need for cross-border movement of workers and demanded “more flexibility” on the part of Germany. “I regret this decision as it involves a number of slowdowns, difficulties at the borders not for tourism but for commuters,” Clement Beaune noted on radio France Inter.

The president of the Grand-Est region to which the Moselle belongs, Jean Rottner expressed his surprise at the “extremely brutal decision” on the part of Germany.

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Germany does not intend to introduce permanent controls on the border with the Moselle, as was the case in spring 2020, however, the German Ministry of the Interior stated in an interview with the AFP agency. 

“The border will not be closed,” a spokesman for the German Ministry of Internal Affairs said on Sunday to the AFP agency, especially since the German regions bordering the Moselle “closely cooperate” in this matter, he added.

The German Ministry of the Interior also informed that police checks will be random and will be carried out on German territory in the border area. “We don’t want it” – emphasise Beaune, however, pointing to 16,000. frontier workers in the Moselle crossing the German-French border. French media also mention students who commute to schools in Germany from French border areas.

“Preferential” treatment of France as regards the border, which will not be closed completely, was criticised in turn by the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. “There are differences in the strict border regulations in Germany, depending on geographic directions,” said Chancellor Kurz in an interview for the German daily Merkur, pointing out that the border with Austrian Tyrol or the Czech Republic was previously blocked by Germany – reminds the French daily Le Figaro. (PAP)