Germany and neighbors agree to gradually remove border restrictions

German chancellor Angela Merkel and the central European leaders on Tuesday agreed on gradually reopening border crossings and lifting controls as soon as the coronavirus pandemic allows.

The announcement came after Merkel and the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad nations — Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia — spoke today, according to a statement by the German Chancellor’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert.

The leaders ”had an intensive exchange of views on the respective measures for further containment of the Covid-19 pandemic’,” the statement said, adding that ”they agreed it was in their interest to gradually remove existing border restrictions and controls as soon as the pandemic situation allows.”

In a subsequent bilateral meeting between Merkel and Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, the two leaders confirmed they want to reduce restrictions on people and businesses in border regions as soon as infection rates allow. The two countries share a 817-kilometer (or 506-mile) border


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