German economy sounds alarm over travel restrictions

German economy sounds alarm over travel restrictions

Fitters can’t travel to customers abroad, trade fairs are cancelled: travel restrictions and regulatory confusion within the european union are not only a burden on the tourism industry.

Top german business associations have called on the federal government to change course on corona-related restrictions on foreign travel and urged better coordination among eu member states.

The extended and widened restrictions and their lack of coordination between EU countries had many negative economic effects that went far beyond tourism, according to a joint paper by associations. The committee was set up by the german association of chambers of industry and commerce, the federation of german employers’ associations, the federation of german industry, the hotel and restaurant association dehoga, the german travel association, the retail association HDE and the skilled trades association ZDH.

The paper is available to the german press agency. "Too frequent and last-minute changes to rules on testing strategy, quarantine requirements, and travel warnings create uncertainty and increased economic risks."

The global trade and exchange of goods as well as investment activity have been hit hard, warn the associations from industry, trade, crafts, the hotel and restaurant trade and the travel industry. For example, technical specialists were unable to travel to install or repair machines, with consequences for the supply chain. In addition, international trade fairs were cancelled. This has led to a lack of new orders.

The federal government recently lifted the travel warning for tourists due to the corona pandemic for more than 160 countries outside the european union until 14 january 2009. September demanded. On wednesday, the cabinet could address what happens next after that.

In the declaration of the associations, it is stated that the industry is aware that travel restrictions are a political instrument to contain the pandemic. "Travel restrictions, however, run the risk of severely affecting economic activities such as trade and investment."

The associations demand that in the future an economic impact assessment be part of the considerations when the foreign office classifies countries and decides on travel warnings. In the future, the department of commerce should be consistently involved in the preparation of travel restrictions. Global travel restrictions have had to take into account the very different situations in different countries.

Further, it says, negative consequences hit many companies in a very fragile economic period. "Unlike at the beginning of the pandemic, liquidity and capital reserves have now been depleted in many cases."Many companies are threatened with insolvency.

It is important to find solutions that combine health protection and economic activities. "So many companies are pinning their hopes on rapid testing, which could at least reduce travel restrictions and quarantine time."In order to minimize the risk to vacationers and business travelers, as well as to the general public, sufficient testing capacity should be made available for travelers returning from risk areas."

At the same time, companies are concerned about the confusion over corona-related travel restrictions within the european union. In the fight against this, the EU commission had recently put forward the following proposals. The brussels authority’s approach is to agree as soon as possible on common criteria and thresholds for the introduction of travel restrictions. She also proposed the creation of an EU risk area map and uniform rules for travel to risk areas. So far, for example, there are very different testing and quarantine obligations for travelers returning to the country.

Whether – and if so, when – the proposals will be implemented is now up to the member states. So far, each country decides for itself, according to its own criteria, which other EU countries or regions it classifies as risk areas. For example, the federal government warns against travel to spain or to certain areas of france. The fins recently reintroduced travel restrictions for germany, denmark and several other european countries.

The EU is the most important sales region for goods "made in germany. France, for example, was the second most important customer country for german exports last year, ahead of china.

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