The German authorities have decided to exempt from the entry ban imposed on arrivals from Austria and the Czech Republic all border commuters who work in systemically relevant professional sectors.

The decision has been announced by the German Ministry of Interior, which in a press release noted that Minister Horst Seehofer has agreed with the Minister-Presidents of the Federal States of Bavaria and Saxony, to permit commuter workers in system-critical sectors to enter Germany despite the temporary reintroduction of checks at Germany’s borders.

According to Minister Seehofer, borders of Germany with Austria and the Czech Republic are connected in many different ways, including in work sectors, what he noted has pushed German authorities to exempt cross-border commuters from the entry ban.

Cross-border commuters employed in system-critical sectors should remain able to enter Germany. We are acting pragmatically wherever possible. The solution we have now found for cross-border traffic could serve as a model for fighting the pandemic in this area going forward,” the Minister said.

After an increase in the COVID-19 cases in the neighbouring countries, Austria and the Czech Republic, Germany imposed an entry ban on arrivals from both, effective since Sunday, February 14.

However, commuter workers at the border regions of the Federal States of Bavaria and Saxony were soon exempted from the ban, due to the importance of their work.

The relevant authorities of the Federal States of Bavaria and Saxony will issue these workers with official personalised certificates specifying the individual worker and the enterprise. Therefore, starting from February 17, 2021, workers employed at enterprises defined as critical, need to carry and present these certificates when crossing the borders.

The federal states of Bavaria and Saxony are responsible for determining which enterprises are considered critical as referred to in the Communication from the Commission and whose workers are thus exempt from the entry restrictions,” the Ministry of Interior notes in its press release.

It also notes that travellers who do not meet the criteria above will be rejected from entering the territory of Germany.

Currently, Germany is the 10th country in the world with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, detected since the beginning of the pandemic – 2,346,876. The number of deaths due to the virus is 65,949, while the country has another 152,127 active cases.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the world is 109,709,892, with 2,419,869 deaths.