Slovakia disagrees with Germany's new requirement for Slovak truck drivers, who have to show a negative Covid-19 test result when entering Germany.
Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) has contacted his German counterpart Heiko Maas and even sent a diplomatic note on February 13, the TASR newswire reported.
Stricter rules for entering Germany
The German government declared the Czech Republic, the Austrian state of Tyrol and Slovakia as coronavirus variant areas on Friday, February 12. It imposed a ban on transportation from these areas and shut its land borders with Austria and the Czech Republic on Sunday, February 14.
The new restrictions limit entry from the coronavirus variant areas to German citizens and residents, truck drivers, transport and health service staff, and some others, who will have to register online and show a negative Covid-19 test no older than 48 hours.
“We ask for removing the condition to show a 48-hour test for truck drivers entering Germany,” Korčok said, as quoted by TASR. “This measure will cause big problems; it is, in fact, impossible for our drivers and it’s very probable that it will cause a chain reaction in other countries as well.”
Regarding the decision to list Slovakia as a coronavirus variant area, Korčok said that the Slovak government will do everything to manage the current situation. It understands that every country is trying to prevent the transmission of the virus across borders.
Turning to the European Commission
Korčok and Transport Minister Andrej Doležal (Sme Rodina) have turned to European Commission (EC) Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, Maroš Šefčovič.
They have asked him to turn to the EC to check whether the German requirement to show tests by truck drivers is at odds with the guidelines of “green lanes” border crossings, which ensure that EU-wide supply chains continue to operate.
“Our economies are closely connected. We’re affected by the coronavirus impacts, so I ask the EU to avoid steps that would lead to the reciprocal measures and further interference in the inner market,” Korčok said, as quoted by TASR.
Doležal stressed that truck transport cannot stop. He also considers the German request for truck divers infeasible, TASR reported.
15. Feb 2021 at 11:27 | Compiled by Spectator staff