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A border barrier with loopholes

Border Barrier

After a long struggle with a border barrier with loopholes, Tyrolean commuters are now allowed to travel to Bavaria. Complications are to be expected when entering Italy from Austria.

Vienna. The stricter entry rules at the German borders between Bavaria and Tyrol (and the Czech Republic), which has been declared a “mutation area”, have been in force since Sunday. Commuters may now be allowed to go to Bavaria. But the entry regulations of Germany (and Italy) are causing sharp criticism from Vienna.

Bavaria commuters

The entry rules at the borders with Tyrol offer exceptions for certain commuters, the German Interior Ministry and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder unanimously announced on Sunday. Previously, disagreements between Berlin and Munich had caused confusion: It was not clear until Sunday afternoon whether Bavaria could allow commuters to enter the country or whether the federal government would take the harder line. According to the agreement on Sunday, commuters from Tyrol can now enter Germany if they are needed in systemically relevant industries.

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You must have your employment contract with you in the coming days and show it at the border. Bavaria is to define companies as systemically relevant by Tuesday and issue individual certificates that are to be presented at the border. “Entry should remain possible for cross-border commuters in systemically relevant occupational sectors,” said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. They want to proceed pragmatically.

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In addition to the certificate, a precondition for entry is a negative test no longer than 48 hours old. In addition, travelers would have to register digitally in advance. Governor Günther Platter (ÖVP) continued to demand an exception for all Tyrolean commuters on Sunday. The current situation is “absolutely unacceptable”.

Deutsches Eck

In addition, “contrary to statements to the contrary, it is currently not possible to drive through the small and large German corner without stopping”. Someone who wants to travel from Tyrol to Salzburg or Vienna must now evade large areas, Platter criticized angrily. A spokesman for the Federal Police Department in Munich confirmed on Sunday that, with a few exceptions, there is currently no getting through for transit travelers. German citizens, for example, are allowed to enter. However, this is currently the subject of discussion and could still change.

Sharp criticism of the entry rules came on Sunday from the Austrian federal government: “The de facto ban of the large and small German corner for Austrians is absolutely unacceptable. This measure by Bavaria is half-baked and only causes chaos, “said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) on Sunday. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg called for “measure and aim” for stricter measures and warned against “excessive steps” that would do more harm than good.

Location on the Brenner

Tyrol had previously announced that it wanted to control and throttle truck traffic at the border with Italy because of the German entry rules in order to prevent extreme backwater and traffic collapse in the Inn Valley. “We’re not going to allow Tyrol to become Europe’s parking lot,” said Platter. The German entry regulations provide for exceptions for truck drivers, but they must also present current Covid tests. Because it is assumed that they will be missing in some cases and because of the controls, a considerable backlog is expected.

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Entry to Italy

Complications can also be expected when entering Italy from Austria: New rules have been in effect for travelers from Austria since Sunday, as Italy announced at short notice on Saturday evening: Due to the spread of the South African variant of the virus, travelers from Austria must present a negative test, which must not be older than 48 hours. Within 48 hours of entry, people coming from Austria must undergo another test and a 14-day quarantine. After that, they must submit a negative test. The ordinance is initially valid until March 5th and for every person who has been in Austria for more than 12 hours, including those who are passing through.

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