The facilitation of border traffic between germany and its neighbors has not led to a significant increase in the number of people entering the country. According to federal police reports on saturday, there were hardly any traffic jams at the border crossings and no increased number of travelers overall.
Officials also had not detected any "significant increase in travel" by people trying to come to germany without permission to shop or for tourist reasons, a spokesman said.
Federal minister of the interior horst seehofer (CSU) had decided to reopen all crossings at the borders to france, austria and switzerland as of saturday. The police now only carry out spot checks there. The federal government will continue to uphold the principle that only those who can travel to work or can show another valid reason for doing so may enter the country until mid-june. But police now recognize more reasons for entry than before – such as visiting a loved one or aunt, study purposes and maintaining a rented apartment.
At the border with luxembourg, the controls that were introduced in mid march to contain the corona pandemic ended at midnight. Green light from copenhagen still missing for an end to border controls with denmark.
"Europe thrives on being a europe without borders," federal minister heiko maas (SPD) said at a meeting with his luxembourg counterpart jean asselborn at the border on the moselle bridge between the german town of perl and the luxembourg town of schengen. Maas did not want to give an estimate of how long it could take until the so-called schengen area is completely open without border controls. Further course of action depends on progress in pandemic fight. "If things get worse, it may be necessary to row back again."
Asselborn made it clear that he had considered the closure of the border between germany and luxembourg to be wrong from the outset. In the border town of schengen in the tri-border area between luxembourg, germany and france, the agreement on the abolition of border controls in europe was signed in 1985. Today, the so-called schengen area includes most european union countries, but also other countries such as switzerland, iceland and norway.
Vehicles were randomly checked on saturday at the border crossing between kehl and strabbourg in the alps. Fubgangers or cyclists, on the other hand, still had to show all their papers. Germans still have to fill out a french passport when entering france. Non-married couples wishing to meet had to present proof of cohabitation at the border, for example, the french interior ministry had explained. The fact that not every vehicle occupant is checked helps commuters in particular. Since the introduction of the controls, long traffic jams had formed at the border crossings during rush hours.
In the czech republic, the state of emergency imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic expires in the night from sunday to monday. The entry ban for tourists from germany and other countries remains in place on a different basis, a spokesman for the ministry of the interior in prague clarified. Exceptions will continue to be made for foreigners who have a permanent residence in the czech republic. When re-entering the country, however, they must show a negative coronavirus test or undergo a 14-day home quarantine.
Meanwhile, the swiss removed the barriers at their border crossings with austria and germany. The work was completed during the course of saturday, according to the swiss customs administration, but controls are still being carried out. The austrian state of vorarlberg, which borders germany, switzerland and liechtenstein, did not plan to open its borders until sunday night, according to local health and police authorities.