Due to the sharp rise in the number of corona infections, Poland has been classified by the federal government as a high incidence area since Sunday. Commuters have to queue for a long time for a corona test.
On the border between Brandenburg and Poland in Frankfurt (Oder), one of three mobile corona test centers went into operation on Monday morning. There are more on the A12 motorway and in Guben (Spree-Neisse).
Even before the official opening at 7 a.m. from 5 a.m. in Frankfurt (Oder), a long queue of people had formed at the tent behind the city bridge. Around 150 commuters from Poland stood in line in freezing temperatures, wanted to be tested and take the result with them.
Poland classified as a high incidence area
Germany classifies countries and regions as high incidence areas in which the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants is over 200 within a week. In Poland there is no official information on the weekly incidence value.
Monday morning, the incidence for Poland was 401.4, according to the World Health Organization.
If you want to travel to Germany from Poland, you have to present a negative corona test. The test may have been carried out at the earliest 48 hours before entry. Stationary border controls such as those at the borders with the Czech Republic or the Austrian state of Tyrol are not planned. However, random checks are possible behind the border as part of the so-called veil manhunt.
Entry from the state bordering Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg and Saxony is only allowed with a negative corona test. Cross-border commuters from Poland are therefore demanding financial support from Germany for the costs of the tests.
Poland has been hard hit by the third wave of the corona pandemic. The number of new infections every day has been just below the previous record of 27,875 from November in the past few days. On Sunday, the Ministry of Health in Warsaw reported 21,849 new infections within 24 hours, and 149 people died in the same period.
Health Minister Adam Niedzielski described the Corona situation as serious on Saturday, one observes a “very great acceleration”. The particularly contagious British virus variant is responsible for 60 to 80 percent of all new cases. The country plans to open new emergency hospitals in the coming days.
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The commuter citizens’ initiative “Free Borders – Wolne Granice” from Szczecin believes that working and living across borders will continue to be burdened by the new regulation. She calls on Germany to provide financial help to cover the test costs. “The German side should find a solution in which the people concerned do not have to pay anything for the tests,” said spokesman Bartosz Marosz of the German press agency. The model discussed in politics, according to which employers in Germany should bear the costs, is problematic. It could lead to companies parting with Polish employees.
Hours of waiting for corona tests
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has set up test centers at the border crossings in Linken and Ahlbeck since mid-March. The fee for a corona test there is ten euros for commuters and 20 euros for everyone else. Brandenburg put three mobile test stations into operation at the border on Monday.
At the test station in Frankfurt / Oder, numerous people stood in line for hours on Monday morning for the rapid test.
In front of a test tent already opened by a private company in the border town of Slubice near Frankfurt an der Oder, a long queue formed on Sunday, as reported by the Naszeslubice portal. People sometimes queued for up to two hours to take the required test before crossing the border into Germany.
Brandenburg’s head of government Dietmar Woidke, who is also the federal government’s coordinator for German-Polish cooperation, assured on Saturday that everything would be done to interfere with cross-border work as little as possible. He wants to discuss the situation with his Polish partner shortly.