Germany to lift quarantine requirement for travellers from bordering countries

Germany to lift quarantine requirement for travellers from bordering countries
Archive photo shows cars passing the German border into Aachen. Photo: DPA
Over the next few days, Germany’s 16 states want to lift their general quarantine rules introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic for travellers from neighbouring countries.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state which shares a border with Belgium and the Netherlands, the quarantine obligation was already lifted on Friday.

The Interior Ministry is currently working on a new regulation for all of the country's states, the ministry said on Friday. 

At the moment, several German states require that anyone entering Germany from a neighbouring European country must go into self-quarantine for 14 days. 

READ ALSO: Germany to order all arriving travellers to self-quarantine

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) made a recommendation to relax the current quarantine rules and to apply them only to people who had previously been in non-neighbouring countries. 

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However, each state can set their own rules.

North Rhine-Westphalia's state premier Armin Laschet (CDU) said that the move would be “sign for good neighbourliness”.

“This creates legal clarity and is a great relief for people, especially in the border regions, and sends a signal to our domestic economy”, explained Laschet. 

Laschet had repeatedly advocated quarantine relaxation to help neighbouring countries get back on their feet through the exchange of commerce and tourism.

“In the medium term, this also includes making cross-border tourism possible again. This is only possible without quarantine regulations”, said Laschet.

On Tuesday, the Higher Administrative Court of Lower Saxony had overturned the quarantine requirement following an emergency application by a holiday home owner, thus sparking a Germany-wide discussion. 

Next week, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) wants to discuss with colleagues from popular holiday destinations how to gradually ease travel restrictions.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) wants to open the borders with France, Austria and Switzerland on June 15th at the earliest.

Border traffic to Luxembourg is to be normalised this Saturday.

READ ALSO: Germany aims to end coronavirus border controls by June 15th


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