Poland: Border commuters criticise compulsory testing
After the federal government declared Poland a Corona High Incidence Area, commuters from the neighbouring country complain about unclear conditions at the border and complications due to compulsory testing.
German and Polish border posts stand at the Ahlbeck border crossing on Usedom.
On Monday morning, workers from Poland were turned back at the Linken border crossing in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania during a check on the German side because they could not show a valid Corona test, Bartosz Marosz from the citizens' initiative "Freie Grenzen - Wolne Granice" told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "This was at five o'clock in the morning on Monday - there was no possibility at all to get tested beforehand." The test station of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Linken was overcrowded, online reservations difficult to get, he said. Workers' explanations that they would be tested on the premises of the German company were not accepted.
In Slubice on the border to Frankfurt/Oder, commuters sometimes have to queue for hours, Marosz continued to complain. The citizens' initiative demands the abolition of compulsory testing for commuters - or at least the assumption of the testing costs by the German side. Since Sunday, Poland has been classified as a high-incidence area due to a sharp rise in the number of infections. This category includes countries and regions where the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants exceeds 200 within one week. In Poland, there is no official information on the weekly incidence value. According to the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, there were 29 978 new Corona infections within 24 hours - the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic. Poland has about 38 million inhabitants.
Entry from the state bordering Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg and Saxony is now only permitted with a negative Corona test. The test must have been taken at least 48 hours before entry. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has set up test centres at the border crossings in Linken and Ahlbeck since mid-March. The fee for a Corona test is 10 euros for commuters, 20 euros for all others. The commuter initiative wants a discussion with the state government to clarify how the costs will be covered, Marosz said.
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Brandenburg put three test stations into operation on Monday in Frankfurt (Oder), on the A12 motorway and in Guben (Spree-Neisse). According to the state government, at least one Corona quick test per week is free of charge for commuters. Polish citizens who are employed in Germany and subject to social security contributions also receive at least one test free of charge with proof.
Last edited: Wednesday, 24. March 2021 13:34 Uhr