German government to extend travel restriction powers

German government to extend travel restriction powers

German government to extend travel restriction powers

In March 2020, the German Bundestag voted in a state of emergency that allowed the government to impose restrictions on various personal freedoms. With these pandemic powers due to lapse at the end of September, the Health Ministry is asking for its mandate to impose travel restrictions to be maintained. 

Health Ministry to maintain power to impose entry restrictions

The move would mean that, even after emergency pandemic laws have been lifted, the German government would still have the power to impose entry restrictions on travellers from certain countries, for instance ones with high caseloads, or where new strains of COVID-19 are spreading. 

“We intend to decide next week that entry conditions set by decree by Health Minister Jens Spahn can continue to apply even after the disease control law no longer applies,” Johannes Fechner, Bundestag member for the SPD, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag

Restrictions do not encroach on rights, German government says

The government hopes that the new law - which would allow the Health Ministry to continue to impose measures like mandatory testing, quarantining, or even entry bans for a further 12 months after the state of emergency ends - will be discussed in the Bundestag over the coming weeks. 

Describing entry restrictions as “not substantial encroachments on constitutional rights,” Fechner said that it was legitimate to give the Health Ministry the power to make testing and quarantining prerequisites for travel. 

However, other factions in the Bundestag have voiced their opposition to the new law. The Free Democrats said, “We have criticised from the outset the blanket powers granted to the government, which can be issued without the approval of the Bundestag.” The Greens described the travel restrictions as necessary but said that the Federal Health Minister should be the only one to enact them.



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

Read more



Leave a comment