How does the government close

Berlin / Brussels (dpa) - The federal government does not yet have any specific plans for further travel restrictions - however, according to a spokeswoman for his house, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has already made proposals for a possible "restriction of travel options".

The subject was also discussed in the cabinet, said the deputy government spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer, in Berlin. However, this week the federal government wants to wait for the results of the vote in Brussels on travel and containment measures at European level. "Of course, that does not rule out national action," added Demmer.

Seehofer said on Tuesday the "Bild": "The danger posed by the numerous virus mutations requires us to also examine drastic measures and discuss them in the federal government." This included "significantly stricter border controls", especially at the borders with high-risk areas, "but also the reduction of air traffic to Germany to almost zero".

The airline association IATA has criticized these proposals. "We are very concerned that governments want to stop air traffic," said IATA boss Alexandre de Juniac in Geneva. "We don't support that." Air traffic should not be made "a scapegoat", said Nick Careen, who is responsible for airport security: "We say: You can safely manage borders."

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) endorsed the possible efforts to further restrict cross-border travel. This is an important contribution to counteracting the spread of particularly contagious coronavirus mutations. "Our country has always represented, even against headwinds, that we have to restrict the travel sector, especially the international one, more strongly," said Schwesig in the Schwerin state parliament. It is not about isolating yourself from other states or people. "The point is to isolate yourself from the mutation that is brought about by traveling from one country to another," said Schwesig.

The Federal Government's Tourism Commissioner, Thomas Bareiß, warned against further drastic restrictions on air traffic. This would be another hard blow for the travel industry, said the CDU politician of the German press agency. "We recently established strict testing and quarantine requirements in order to take account of the increased risk of virus mutations. We should not jeopardize trust in these procedures."

In Belgium, a new regulation came into force on Wednesday that prohibits unnecessary travel to or from Belgium. Accordingly, vacation and leisure trips are no longer allowed until March 1st. This is to prevent new corona infections from being carried into the country. The ban is to be controlled in road, air, ship and rail traffic. However, there are exceptions. The movement of goods should continue to flow. Visits to a spouse or partner, travel for work or study reasons and for relatives' funerals are also permitted.

When entering Germany, the following currently applies: Anyone coming from a corona risk area must be tested after arrival and be quarantined as a precaution. In addition, an electronic entry report is required. Stricter rules apply to people who come from areas with particularly high infection rates or from so-called mutation areas. You must be able to show the negative corona test upon entry. However, there is currently only a veil manhunt and no stationary border controls at the German national borders. In practice, this means that not everyone who comes into the country from a high-risk area without an entry registration and corona test will be noticed.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210127-99-192849 / 3