The neighboring country recently banned entry to countries where mutation is common. The ban does not affect Switzerland yet. But that could change soon.
The German government imposed an entry ban on Friday evening for people coming from areas where new, more infectious virus types are spread. The ban, which will be implemented from Saturday, is intended as a first step against entry from Great Britain, Brazil and South Africa, as well as against participants from European Union countries, Ireland and Portugal.
To the European Union’s annoyance, Germany did not wait for EU members to agree on the relevant rules, but instead created the same facts. It is a question of doing what is necessary to protect the population, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Thursday before the meeting of European Union interior ministers. Other countries preceded it with similar bans in the past few days, such as the Netherlands or Belgium.
No controls at the German border
The German entry ban does not only affect Germans who return home. However, they will need a negative test to enter the country in the future. Exceptions also apply to the movement of goods, diplomats, and similar groups. The ban is imposed mainly in air traffic; Static entry controls at the German border are yet to be planned. Seehofer said one wants to avoid a situation like Spring 2020. At that time, long bottlenecks for cars and trucks formed, especially on the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic.
Germany will also control the entry ban at the land border, so Sihoefer, but only by means of so-called hijab hunting. This allows border police to take random samples in an area up to 30 kilometers behind the border.
The new entry ban applies to all countries that the Robert Koch Institute calls in Berlin List of “virus variants regions” Puts. This week Portugal was performed there again. Government departments have been told that more countries should join soon, as new virus variants are currently spreading strongly. It was initially about the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Denmark – but not Switzerland.
The rate of virus mutation is ten percent or higher
In the mentioned countries, the proportion of new virus mutations in positive samples has been recently determined to be 10 percent or higher. According to the authorities, the percentage in Germany is currently significantly lower: maybe 2%. However, unlike Denmark or the Netherlands, Germany is currently studying less than 1 percent of positive cases for the new variants.
In Switzerland, the proportion of variants in positive samples is already high as in the aforementioned neighboring countries in Germany. Martin Ackermann, head of the Swiss Coronavirus Task Force, which advises the Federal Council scientifically, said on Tuesday in Bern that he expects the “British” alternative in Switzerland to account for about half of the infections in March. From the task force’s point of view, B.1.1.7 could hardly be prevented from becoming the dominant viral variant in Switzerland.
If expectations come true, Switzerland could soon end up on the list of countries that Germany has issued an entry ban. If there were no exception rules for the 36,000 people traveling daily from Germany to Switzerland, the northern Swiss border would be nearly closed since then.
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