The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany has classified the Netherlands as an “International Risk Area.” This could mean that Germany may close its borders shared with its Dutch neighbour.
The RKI is a government-funded research institute for disease control and prevention. Its Dutch sister is the RIVM, which has been closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak here in the Netherlands.
On the basis of the RKI’s decisions, the German government has closed parts of its borders with several neighbouring countries, according to NOS. In the meantime, strict border controls are carried out where crossing is still possible.
“International Risk Area”
This classification means that there is a persistent transmission of the virus between people, and that further spread of the novel coronavirus will likely have wide-reaching consequences.
Also included in this list are the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Iran, Austria and France.
What this means for the Netherlands
Today, the Federal Minister of the Interior of Germany, Horst Seehofer will decide whether to close borders with the Netherlands. But although smaller posts would be closed, some of the larger ones will remain open (with strict regulations). This means that it would still be possible to cross the border (with some regulations imposed).
So if you have a valid reason (i.e. to receive medical care or see a family member), it is likely that you’ll still be allowed in.
Closing of the border would have implications for border workers, who commute daily between the Netherlands and Germany. Furthermore, microbiologists from UMCG in Groningen have access to 11 German hospitals for research purposes in bordering areas.
It should, however, be noted that the decision to close borders is not yet set in stone and more will be known in the coming time.
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