In Brief: Germany to gradually ease border controls with neighboring countries

The federal interior minister said border controls will be eased between Germany and Luxembourg on Friday. Meanwhile, several border crossings between Germany and Austria were reopened yesterday.

Photo by Anthony Beck from Pexels

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Caleb Larson and Monika Müller-Kroll

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced yesterday that restrictions at Germany’s borders will continue until June 15, although controls are being eased sooner in some areas.

Seehofer said the borders with Luxembourg will loosen up on Friday night and that Denmark’s crossings could be next, once Copenhagen wraps up its consultations with its neighbors.

He told reporters he hopes travel in Europe will become easier. Seehofer added, we used to have thousands of new infections daily, now it’s hundreds, but the number must be reduced more.

Meanwhile, five crossings at the German-Austrian border were reopened on Wednesday for certain groups, including farmers, commuters and cargo.

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Professional soccer here will resume on Saturday, though the games are subject to strict pandemic-related rules.

Though the games will be broadcast live, no more than 300 people, including teams, coaching staff, TV crews and security personnel, will be allowed into the stadium at any time, according to guidelines published by the league, or Bundesliga.

Soccer stadiums will be divided into three zones: the exterior, stands, and field, with no more than 100 people allowed into any one zone at a time. Fans are not allowed anywhere inside the stadium.

Everyone will be required to wear a mask, except for players and referees. Those off the field must keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters, or about 5 feet.

Bundesliga games have been postponed since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. That extended the 2019-2020 season from May until the end of June.

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Berlin’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faction is demanding virtual classes be improved as schools are likely to keep closing.

The local CDU’s education expert Dirk Stettner told Berliner Rundfunk, Berlin schools need a common cloud for online classes so that students can collaborate in a secure space.

Stettner said the so-called HPI School-Cloud has the advantage that it solves the entire privacy issue and that many schools in Germany are already successfully working with it.

The HPI cloud is a digital learning environment where teachers and students can collaborate on digital content in a secure space. It was developed by the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam.

 

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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