German Borders to Open in Phased Approach

May 14, 2020

Germany’s borders are beginning to open…slowly.

After having closed its borders to all non-essential traffic in mid-March, Germany announced recently that unrestricted travel to and from Luxembourg will be allowed starting Saturday, May 16.

The country is taking a phased approach, however, to opening frontiers with its neighbors, with the goal of having full movement within Europe by June 15.

Borders with France, Austria and Switzerland: what to know

Beginning Saturday, travel to and from France, Austria and Switzerland will be allowed under a modified approach. For travelers, this means the following:

  • Random inspections will be carried out, instead of regular ones.
  • Trips to see family or for business purposes will be allowed. This does not mean vacation travel is encouraged, however.
  • Currently, the plan is to open borders fully with France, Austria and Switzerland on June 15.

Other neighboring countries: a mixed bag

  • Borders with Belgium and the Netherlands are already operating in a partially-opened fashion, with spot checks being carried out by state governments on either side of the border. No clear guidance is available yet on what the near future holds, and non-essential travel is discouraged.
  • With Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic, borders are still closed. The German government is working on negotiating openings with these countries.

Caveats for U.S. personnel in Germany

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