Germany set to lift land border checks late on Monday

Germany will on Monday night end border checks with its neighbours introduced to fight the coronavirus, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Germany set to lift land border checks late on Monday
Photo: DPA

“The requirement of a valid reason for entry will… no longer apply” along Germany's land borders, a ministry spokesman said Friday.

The relaxed rules will come into effect at midnight Monday June 15th, into Tuesday. 

The EU Commission this week urged a relaxation of travel restrictions within the bloc from June 15, a move supported by Germany.

“Freedom of movement is being restored in the European Union,” Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said before the EU's official announcement.

READ ALSO: What are the rules for travelling abroad from Germany this summer?

The EU also called on member states to lift all border restrictions for outside travellers from early July, saying the virus situation was “fast improving” in many countries.

Germany introduced an unprecedented warning against all foreign travel in mid-March at the height of the coronavirus outbreak.

But from Monday, Germans will be able to travel freely again to EU member states as well Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

European governments are under pressure to reopen their economies and ease lockdown restrictions now that the coronavirus is deemed under control in many countries on the continent.

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Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?

Several political parties in Germany have said they want to bring back sleeper trains in order to meet carbon emissions targets.

Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?
A sleeper train in Austria. Photo: dpa/APA | Georg Hochmuth

The Green party have said that they want to put state subsidies into night trains that will connect Germany with cities as far flung as St Petersburg in the north and Lisbon in the south.

According to the environmentalist party’s plans, 40 night rail lines could connect 200 destinations across the continent including islands like Mallorca, which would be linked in by train and ferry.

The Greens want the EU to buy a fleet of sleeper trains that could travel at speeds of between 200 km/h and 250 km/h.

The CDU have also announced plans to rebuild the country’s sleeper train services.

Deutsche Bahn stopped its last sleeper service in 2016 citing the high costs involved in maintaining its fleet that was not recuperated through ticket sales.

Earlier this year the state owned company said it had “no plans” to purchase new sleeper wagons.