MIAMI – The German government is considering applying drastic limitations on incoming foreign travel, citing a similar approach by Israel. The decision would also follow the Belgian government’s move to ban all non-essential travel as of Wednesday, January 27.
Horst Seehofer, Germany Interior Minister, told the German newspaper Bild, “The danger posed by numerous virus mutations forces us to consider drastic measures. That includes significantly stricter border checks, especially at borders with high-risk areas, but also reducing air travel to Germany to almost zero, as Israel is currently doing.”
Tightening the Chokehold on Germany’s Travel Sector
Inbound air traffic ban and lockdown of affected regions are part of the measures under consideration. On the subject, EU commission Ursula von der Leyen recently stated that “all non-essential travel should be strongly dissuaded ” while adding that “we, at the EU, are more and more worried by the different Covid-19 mutations.”
According to Bild, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Seehofer to investigate ways in which the country could protect itself against Sunday’s spread of mutations. According to dw.com, Merkel told lawmakers on Tuesday that she was opposed to an all-out travel ban, but at the same time calling for a halt to tourism as the pandemic continues to spread.
On its part, the German Travel Association criticized the move, stressing that the pandemic had already hurt Germany’s tourism and business travel sectors, “The government should take this into account. It should not concentrate on further tightening our already tightly restricted freedom of movement.”
This is a developing story.
Featured image: Lufthansa D-AIGV Airbus A340-313X. Casey Groulx/Airways