Berlin rigorously seals off the “Brussels risk area”

The German government is sticking to its controversial travel warning for Brussels. This continues to massively impede the work of the EU institutions. A look at an internal “handout” by the German Foreign Office shows just how far the German ban on contact goes.

It starts off in the best official German – with “seclusion” (quarantine) and different rules depending on the different Länder (regions)

Entry into Germany from the Brussels-Capital Region is subject to the quarantine and testing regulations of the respective federal state on the basis of the federal regulation on compulsory testing and the model federal regulation on domestic isolation after residence in risk areas

Travel to the EU Presidency in Berlin will also be restricted:

In Berlin, travel to the EU Presidency is exempt from quarantine and testing requirements, for example, if the activity is absolutely necessary for the functioning of the EU institutions, and this is certified by the respective employer. Internal regulations of the federal ministries for their implementation must be uniform and strictly applied. Implementation should be closely coordinated with the health authorities of the State of Berlin and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Missions to Brussels have become practically impossible:

For business trips to the Brussels-Capital risk area, it is particularly important that the employer observes his duty of care and does not undertake business trips to risk areas. They are only permitted in exceptional cases expressly required by the employer.

The Council of Ministers is also severely handicapped, as the rules for Council meetings show

Sufficient number of participating Member States: A quorum must be ensured (i.e. at least half of the MS are represented at ministerial level) The de facto quorum of 14 Member States is not sufficient if a significant number (=1/3) of Member States are explicitly sceptical/rejecting participation or cannot travel to Brussels due to their own travel arrangements.

Unfortunately, the officials also have to stay at home:

When officials travel from Berlin or Bonn to Brussels for meetings of Council working parties, they should – not least for reasons of duty of care – in principle refrain from

Last but not least, visits to the European Commission and the European Parliament are not possible:

Individual trips to the EP and the COM by members of the Federal Government and State Secretaries should also be planned virtually as a matter of principle, except in justified exceptional cases.

Anyone reading this might think that a stay in Brussels poses an extreme risk of infection. But this is not the case – people do not drop dead in the street.

Those who wear a mask (also compulsory on the street) can survive a stay well. If it were otherwise, Berlin would have withdrawn its staff from Brussels long ago…

Translated with (free version) The original post (in German) is here