Confusion at French-German border over reopening date

The EU wants a coordinated reopening of borders, but it seems that for 24 hours the France-Germany border will only be open one way.

Confusion at French-German border over reopening date
Photo: AFP

From Monday, June 15th, the majority of European countries will be reopening their borders and lifting the restrictions that had been in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO France will reopen its borders for European travel on June 15th

But the border between France and Germany seems to be the source of some confusion over the reopening date – with traffic going one way only for the first 24 hours.

The French government has confirmed that it will be reopening its borders from midnight on June 15th – ie overnight Sunday/Monday.

A joint statement from France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: “France will lift on the morning of June 15th (00h00) all restrictions on movement at its internal European borders (land, air and sea) put in place to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.”

But the German foreign ministry on Friday confirmed to The Local that border restrictions along the French border would end on Monday night at midnight.

READ ALSO Germany set to lift land border checks late on Monday


Therefore on Monday, people will be allowed to enter France from Germany, but anyone wanting to enter Germany from France will still face border restrictions.

Germany was one of the first countries in Europe to confirm that it would be reopening borders on June 15th, while France said only that it “aimed” to do so, until the official confirmation on Friday.

According to German media reports, the reopening of the French German border was pushed back to allow for a delay from the French.

Local politicians on both sides of the border have called for clarity on the arrangements.

MP for the Bas-Rhin département Antoine Herth told France bleu radio: “One gets the impression that there is a lack of consultation between the German and French authorities, which has been the rule since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.”



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Reader Question: Can I get a third Covid booster shot in France?

As France launches its autumn vaccine campaign, almost half of those eligible for the second booster jab in France have already received it. This has left some wondering whether they could qualify for a third booster, using the new dual-strain vaccines.

Reader Question: Can I get a third Covid booster shot in France?

Question: I’m in my 70s and I had my second booster back in the summer but now I see that the new dual-strain vaccines are available – should I be getting an extra booster with the new type of vaccine?

French health authorities launched the autumn booster campaign on October 3rd includes newly authorised dual-strain vaccines – such as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine adapted to BA.1, the Moderna vaccine adapted to BA.1, and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine adapted to BA.4/5 – which are designed to combat the Omicron variant.

It will be followed by the seasonal flu vaccination campaign in mid October.

READ MORE: When, where and how to get flu shots and Covid boosters this autumn in France

In France, about 6.3 million people have received a second booster dose, “or 41 percent of the eligible population,” said the Directorate General of Health (DGS) to Ouest France.

Currently only those in high risk groups are eligible for a second booster shot, including pregnant women, the elderly those with medical conditions or carers – find the full list here.

As almost half of the eligible population have already received a fourth vaccine, many are wondering whether they will be eligible for a fifth (or third booster) in order to access the new dual-strain vaccine.  

According to Virginie, a representative from HAS – France’s health authority – the organisation “no longer thinks in terms of doses for high-risk people and immunocompromised patients.”

Specifically, the HAS recommends that a new injection be given – and if possible one of the dual-strain vaccines – “regardless of the number of injections received up to now”.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Who qualifies for a second Covid vaccine booster in France?

However, French health authorities specified that the additional booster should “respect the minimum recommended time between two doses.”

“This depends based on your profile – for people aged 80 and over, residents of nursing homes or long-term care units (USLD) and those who are immunocompromised, the wait-time is three months between jabs. For the others, the delay is set at six months.”

For those who have already been infected by Covid-19, the HAS recommends that if you are eligible for a second (or third booster) that the additional dose “is still recommended, with a minimum delay of three months after infection.”