By Annika Saeuberlich, dpa
Passau, Germany (dpa) – New restrictions imposed at the German-Czech border have not caused any major traffic or upheaval, police said on Sunday, although hundreds of people had been denied entry.
“The situation is currently very calm,” a Passau police spokesman said on Sunday morning. “On a weekday, when commuters try to enter, the situation will certainly be different.”
From Sunday onwards, only German nationals and foreigners with a residence permit are allowed to enter Germany from the Czech Republic and large parts of Austria’s Tyrol region.
Health workers, truck drivers and other freight transport workers are exempted from the rule.
Bavarian premier Markus Soeder and the Interior Ministry announced on Sunday that in addition, employees in key sectors would be allowed to cross into Germany.
The restrictions are intended to prevent the introduction of possibly more contagious coronavirus variants across the border.
Police President Karl-Heinz Bluemel said that 500 people had already been denied entry in the first 12 hours of the new rules being in place.
A total of 1,700 people had been subjected to border checks in that time – 700 of them at the border to the Czech Republic.
Both the Czech Republic and Tyrol are places where the virus variants are widespread.
People wishing to cross into Germany must present a negative coronavirus test.