Germany extends border controls by 2-week as virus cases rise

has extended controls along its borders to the Czech Republic and the Austrian region, Tyrol, in an attempt to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) mutations.

An Interior Ministry spokesperson told dpa on Wednesday.

“We have the hope that we end checks with Austria a little earlier, maybe even in March,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the newspaper Muenchner Merkur.

Seehofer, is due to meet Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Thursday, added that measures to contain the spread of coronavirus variants in Tyrol were being observed closely.

Since February, has declared the Czech Republic, Slovakia and wide parts of Tyrol as so-called virus variant areas and largely banned travel from those regions.

Only German residents or nationals may enter from those regions. although there are exceptions for lorry drivers and commuters with essential jobs, provided they show a negative coronavirus test not older than 48 hours.

Controls along the border have repeatedly led to traffic jams and friction between the governments.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in are rising again, prompting concerns about a possible third wave.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control reported 13,435 new infections on Wednesday, a marked increase from the 9,146 cases seen a week ago.

The so-called seven-day incidence rate of infections per 100,000 people in the past week also rose to 86.2, from 83.7 on the previous day, as at a month ago, it stood at 57.0. (dpa/NAN)