Prague (dpa) – Tailbacks stretching back several kilometres have developed on the Czech roads leading to the German border, after Germany declared its neighbour a risk zone due to a coronavirus variant and reintroduced checks for incoming travellers.
On the E55/D8 autobahn connecting Prague with Dresden, lorries were queuing all the way back to Usti nad Labem on Monday morning. Police were stopping drivers before letting them enter the tunnel there.
On the E50/D5, which leads to the German city of Nuremberg, a queue of lorries initially grew to over 20 kilometres long, according to the motorway administration office and radio traffic news.
On Sunday, Germany launched entry bans at its borders with the Czech Republic and the Austrian region of Tyrol, due to concerns about more virulent strains of the novel coronavirus in those areas.
There are exceptions for key workers who have to commute across the borders, including lorry drivers, and for German citizens or foreigners resident in Germany.
Those people have to register online and present a negative coronavirus test at the border, which must be no older than 48 hours.
Czech authorities have boosted their testing capacity in border regions in response to the travel ban, using the fire brigade for example to set up additional facilities.
The Czech Republic forms a key part of the supply chain for many German firms. Some carmakers have already warned that the restrictions could once again bring factories to a standstill.