Extreme virus increases in neighboring German countries: What could also threaten us

The situation is sometimes dramatic: Extreme corona increases in neighboring German countries

Not only in Germany, but also in many other European countries, the number of infections is higher than ever before. The situation is partly serious. A look at Germany’s direct neighbors shows that.

How serious the corona situation is must have become clear to everyone at the latest when Chancellor Angela Merkel made an urgent appeal to the people in Germany in her video podcast on Saturday: “I ask you: Refrain from any trip that is not really necessary is, to any celebration that is not really necessary. Please stay at home, wherever possible, at your place of residence. ”

The day before, the Robert Koch Institute had announced the highest number of new infections within one day in Germany with 7830 new COVID-19 cases. The situation is even more worrying for the European neighbors.


The number of new infections in the Netherlands, at almost 8,000 recently, is similar to that in Germany – but the Netherlands only has 17 million inhabitants – about as many as the neighboring German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The situation there is therefore much more threatening.

The Amsterdam virologist Hans Zaaijer told the Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf”: “We are on the verge of a disaster”. The small number of intensive care beds also contributes to this. There are around 1150 in the Netherlands. With 6000, North Rhine-Westphalia has around five times as many.

The Dutch government has ordered a partial lockdown. Bars, cafés and restaurants had to close, alcohol cannot be sold after 8 p.m., and you cannot receive more than three guests a day at home.

Bus and train should only be used in urgent cases. On Saturday, Germany designated the entire Netherlands as a risk area. The Netherlands itself allows people from countries to enter the country where the health risk is rated equal to or lower than in the Netherlands. This also includes Germany. However, air travelers must fill out a health form and carry it with them before starting their journey.


In Belgium, too, the number of new infections, at over 7,000 within 24 hours, is roughly the same as in Germany and the Netherlands. However, with around eleven million inhabitants, Belgium has significantly fewer than the Netherlands.

While Germany, with around 40 corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, is still doing quite well compared to other European countries, the Netherlands has over 270 infections per 100,000 inhabitants – and Belgium even more than 370 cases. Because of the extreme increase, all restaurants in Belgium have to close for four weeks from Monday.

No alcohol may be sold after 8 p.m., and there is a nationwide curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. Belgium has been a risk area since September 30th. Belgium itself has classified the German cities of Berlin and Bremen as “red zones”.

Anyone entering Belgium from there must be in quarantine and can do a corona test on the fifth day at the earliest, which ends the quarantine if the result is negative. You have to fill out an electronic form before entering the country.


The number of new corona infections is also at a record high in France. Most recently there were more than 32,000 in a 24 hour period. That is why Paris and other large cities have been curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. since Saturday. In total, it affects around 20 million of the 67 million inhabitants of France.

From 9 p.m., all restaurants, bars and pubs in the affected areas must be closed. The metropolises turn into ghost towns in the evenings. Exceptions are only made for valid reasons such as medical emergencies or commuting to work.

Around 12,000 police officers monitor compliance with the curfew. Private celebrations such as weddings are prohibited across the country in rented rooms and public places.

The entire French mainland was classified as a risk area by German authorities on Saturday. France itself does not require any further tests or forms for travelers from Germany.


With around 38 million inhabitants, Poland has about half as many as Germany. The number of corona infections is currently higher than in Germany at just under 10,000 within 24 hours. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Facebook on Sunday that his own corona quarantine had ended – one of his bodyguards had tested positive.

However, significant restrictions will come into effect in the rest of the country this weekend. A total of 150 regions in Poland were declared so-called red zones on Saturday – including the capital Warsaw and several other large cities. Wedding celebrations are prohibited there.

Swimming pools and fitness clubs have to close. Restaurants are not allowed to serve guests between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., but offer take-away food. The schools remain closed. Instead, there is distance learning.

The German authorities declared a total of five areas as risk areas on Saturday, including the cities of Gdansk and Krakow. Poland does not require any further tests or forms for travelers from Germany.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is currently one of the countries hardest hit by the Corona crisis. With around eleven million inhabitants, there were over 11,000 new corona cases within 24 hours. The country has around 430 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants – a record in Europe.

Bars and restaurants have therefore been closed since Wednesday, alcohol is prohibited in public spaces, and classes at schools and universities are digital. On Friday evening, President Milos Zeeman called on citizens in a televised address to be more disciplined when wearing masks.

“We only have one weapon at our disposal as long as there is no vaccination,” he warned. “And that gun is a little piece of cloth.”

The German authorities declared the Czech Republic a risk area on September 25th. The Czech Republic requires travelers from Germany to have a corona test within five days. Until then, there is a quarantine obligation.

Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark

The other four neighboring countries also currently have higher rates of new infections than Germany. The lowest rate is in Denmark with almost 50 new infections. In Austria there are over 90, in Switzerland and Luxembourg around 140.

In Austria, for the first time in months, the 7,000-inhabitant community of Kuchl was again quarantined on Saturday.

Entry and exit are no longer permitted there until November 1st. From the point of view of the German authorities, three federal states in Austria, ten cantons in Switzerland, a region in Denmark and the entire country of Luxembourg are risk areas.

Luxembourg, Denmark and Austria have no special regulations for travelers from Germany. However, Switzerland has classified Berlin and Hamburg as risk regions. Those who come from these regions must have been in quarantine for ten days or have a negative corona test.

Author: Marco Müller

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