Germany to start easing border controls from Saturday

WION Web Team
Berlin, Germany Published: May 13, 2020, 05:13 PM(IST)

Germany coronavirus cases rise Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The tentative step, aimed partly at helping the tourism sector, comes as the European Commission prepares to urge a return to "unrestricted free movement", though that push will stop if there is a major second wave of infections.

Germany will start to relax some border controls introduced in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus with the aim of having free travel in Europe from mid-June.

The tentative step, aimed partly at helping the tourism sector, comes as the European Commission prepares to urge a return to "unrestricted free movement", though that push will stop if there is a major second wave of infections.

Germany introduced lockdowns in mid-March, early in the coronavirus outbreak, and has managed to keep the death rate per capita relatively low compared to many of its European neighbours.

Seehofer said that blanket border controls agreed with France, Switzerland and Austria due to end on May 15 would be extended to June 15, but as many crossings as possible would be reopened and systematic checks would give way to spot checks.

Earlier, Austria said its border with Germany would fully reopen in a month. The Alpine country has been lobbying Germany hard to reopen the border, not least to boost its important tourism industry.

Germany's border with Luxembourg can be completely opened, and controls at the EU's external borders will remain until June 15.

People in safe parts of China could re-enter Germany after June 15.

In an indication of the toll the pandemic is having on the travel sector, tour operator TUI said earlier it needs to reduce its fixed cost base by 30% and cut thousands of jobs in response to the crisis.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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