At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic the European Union (EU) made a mistake by deciding to quickly close the borders between countries and to limit logistics. Heiko Maas, the German Foreign Minister, was quoted as saying so by the Aargauer Zeitung on April 16.
“The mistakes that were made at the beginning of the pandemic, closing the borders too quickly, banning exports, should not be repeated. But I believe that in recent months we have developed a large number of mechanisms that ensure that the number of restrictions that we have in border communication does not exceed the number of restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic,” Maas said at a press conference.
Maas specified that during the conference with the foreign ministers of Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland also discussed science diplomacy, as well as the resumption of mobility in a pandemic coronavirus.
Earlier on March 23, it became known that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the authorities of the federal states had agreed to extend the quarantine regime in the country until April 18. According to Merkel, from April 1 to 5, when Catholics and Protestants celebrate Easter, “there will be a principle of reduction of contacts”.
Earlier in February, the European Commission formally warned the six EU countries that their restrictions on border crossings within the alliance, imposed because of COVID-19, could undermine free movement within the union.
The commission sent special messages to Germany, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Hungary and Sweden on Monday, EC spokesman Christian Wiegand told reporters at a meeting with EU representatives in Brussels. They are being urged to apply more adequate and non-discriminatory entry-exit measures.
European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides told Augsburger Allgemeine Feb. 14 that closing borders against COVID-19 is not as effective in combating it as vaccination.