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Germany partially closes borders with the Czech Republic, Austria over Coronavirus variant

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Germany partially closed its borders with the Czech Republic and Austria’s Tyrol on Sunday, reinstating temporary entry bans and border controls over growing fears for the rising Coronavirus variant cases in the two areas.

Under the controversial measure, which sparked fears over EU countries shutting again their borders to each other, only Germans and non-German residents are allowed to enter, provided they present a recent negative COVID-19 test. 

Some exceptions are foreseen for workers from key sectors who need to cross the border, as well as for urgent humanitarian reasons, the German interior ministry said.

The measure, that came into effect on February 14, has caused massive problems in the transport of goods, with tailbacks of trucks created in directions of German borders across the country on the first working day. 

Reacting to the move, the bloc’s health chief, Stella Kyriakides told Germany’s Augsburger Allgemeine that “it’s wrong to return to a Europe with closed borders like we had in March 2020.”

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