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Germany introduces border checks with 5 countries over coronavirus, still keeps broad-scale exemptions

The spread of the deadly coronavirus epidemic has forced Germany to introduce travel restrictions and enhance control over people’s movements. But economic concerns are still high for Berlin.

On Monday morning, Germany imposed checks and suspended visa-free travel on its land borders with five nations: France, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembourg. Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have not been affected by the new restrictions so far.

From now on, foreigners crossing the border from any of the five nations in question must have “a valid reason to travel” or they will be denied entry to Germany, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said as he announced the new measures.

“The spread of coronavirus is progressing very rapidly and aggressively,” he added, justifying the restrictions. “We have to assume that the peak of this development has not yet been reached.”

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