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Germany not ruling out border checks over virus variants

Published on January 19, 2021

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday urged EU nations to agree measures to halt new variants of coronavirus, warning that border checks with EU neighbours may have to be installed otherwise.

“If countries should decide to take different paths… you have to be ready to say then, we’ll have to reintroduce border controls. We don’t want that, we want to find an agreement with our partners, but we can’t have that (infections) just coming because other countries are taking another path,” she said.

Merkel noted that consultations are already going on with the Czech Republic and Luxembourg, as many cross-border workers — some working in key industries like healthcare — travel back and forth daily.

She said she would seek a set of common measures, for instance on regular virus tests, during an EU summit on Thursday.