In order to limit the spread of coronavirus mutations, Germany is relying on stricter entry rules for travelers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Tyrol. However, this measure is increasingly being criticized. Now the pressure from Brussels is also growing.
According to a letter of complaint from the EU Commission to the German EU ambassador Michael Clauss in Brussels, several requirements are disproportionate or unfounded. “We believe that the understandable goal of Germany – the protection of public health in a pandemic – could be achieved through less restrictive measures.” The paper from Monday is available to the dpa news agency.
The EU Commission now expects a response within ten working days. In theory, it could initiate legal proceedings against Germany, but this is unlikely due to the ongoing pandemic. Similar letters were sent to Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, with whose border measures the EU Commission also does not agree. At the urging of the EU Commission, the European Ministers of the EU states are discussing the procedure at internal borders this Tuesday.
Seehofer rejects criticism from Brussels
The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Tyrol have been considered areas with particularly dangerous virus mutations in Germany since February 14. With a few exceptions, entry is therefore prohibited. From the point of view of Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the border controls initially scheduled for ten days should be extended. The CSU politician recently brusquely rejected the EU Commission’s criticism of the German measures.
The basis of the concerns from Brussels is that the EU states agreed on common recommendations for traveling within the EU a few weeks ago. These are based on a map of Europe, on which regions are marked in color using common criteria.
In the four-page letter, the EU Commission now lists in detail which measures it considers to be inappropriate. The authority first emphasized that, according to the EU health authority ECDC, only a few cases of the British virus variant have been discovered in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In several other EU countries, the value is higher. Therefore, further information is requested on what basis the Czech Republic and Slovakia were declared virus variant areas.
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