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FRANCE

Schumi family ‘confident’ as website relaunches

In a statement on the Formula One star's re-opened website, Michael Schumacher's family said they were “confident and hoping for the best“ for him.

Schumi family 'confident' as website relaunches
Michael Schumacher celebrating his first World Championship win in Adelaide. Photo: DPA

"Your good wishes build us up," the statement on michael-schumacher.de said.

"Every day we receive hopes for Michael's recovery and are made speechless by the scale of participation.

"We can only say thank you again and again for fighting with us and with him."

There was no mention of how Schumacher is progressing in the treatment he is undergoing at his home in Switzerland after being released from hospital in September.

The driver's relaunched online presence appeared the day after the 20th anniversary of his first ever World Champion title win in Adelaide, Australia.

Schumacher went on to win the Grand Prix championship six more times, becoming the highest-performing driver ever seen in the sport.

The new website reminds visitors of his achievements with a page comparing statistics including his race wins, pole positions and fastest laps with other greats of Formula One.

Fans have been anxious over Schumacher's condition since he suffered severe head injuries in an off-piste ski accident in Meribel, France, in December 2013.

The hospital was beseiged by fans and reporters in the weeks following the injury, leading his wife Corinna to plead to be left alone.

After being kept in a medically-induced coma for months he was revived in June and has since returned to his home in Gland, Switerland.

Since the accident all eyes have been on Michael's 15-year-old son Mick, who has been following in his father's footsteps by placing highly in German and worldwide junior karting championships.

SEE ALSO: Michael Schumacher's career in pictures

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FRANCE

Germany to tighten Covid controls at French border

Germany on Sunday, February 28th, classed France's Covid-battered Moselle region as a high risk area for virus variants, triggering tougher entry requirements at the border between the two neighbours.

Germany to tighten Covid controls at French border
Image: Peter H/ Pixabay

France’s eastern Moselle region is now listed as an area “at particularly high risk of infection due to widespread occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants”, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for disease control announced.

From Tuesday, March 2nd, cross-border travellers from Moselle will need to be able to show a recent negative coronavirus test.

Germany has already introduced tough checks at its borders with the Czech Republic and Austria’s Tyrol region, ignoring calls from Brussels to keep borders within the bloc open.

At those crossings, only Germans and non-German residents are allowed to enter, as well as cross-border commuters working in certain categories of jobs.

Every vehicle is stopped and occupants must produce a negative test that is less than 48 hours old.

The checks on the German side of the Moselle crossing are expected to be less strict, a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP.

Instead of systematic checks, police would randomly stop vehicles on the German side and ask drivers to show “a negative test and their online entry registration”, he said.

Germany has grown increasingly concerned in recent weeks about the rapid spread of new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus, especially those first detected in Britain and South Africa.

The coronavirus, including the more dangerous South African variant, is spreading faster in Moselle than elsewhere in France but French officials have pleaded with Berlin to avoid a full closure of the border.

The German classification “normally implies the extremely strict measure of a quasi-closure of borders”, France’s European Affairs minister Clement Beaune said Sunday.

“We don’t want that,” he said, adding that talks were ongoing with Berlin to find solutions for the roughly 16,000 commuters who cross from Moselle into Germany’s Saarland and Rhineland-Palatine states every day.

The German interior ministry spokesman said the two countries would discuss details of the border implications on Monday.

Asked why the French checks would not be as stringent as those along the Czech and Austrian frontiers, the spokesman said Saarland and Rhineland-Palatine had not requested border closures.

“And there is a good cooperation between the affected German and French regions,” he added.

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