Corona border controls: auto industry fears plant closings –

Corona checks by the federal police at the German-Austrian border

Corona checks by the federal police at the German-Austrian border

Christoph Stache / AFP via Getty Images

The German auto industry fears that the controls and corona tests that have been in force at several borders since Sunday will cause significant delivery problems and that factories will be closed this Monday.

Due to the problems to be expected at the border crossings, automobile production will largely come to a standstill from Monday lunchtime, a spokesman for the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) announced on Sunday in Berlin. “The plants in Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Dingolfing, Zwickau and Leipzig are the first to be affected.”

The Volkswagen Group said on Sunday afternoon that there were still no bottlenecks due to missing parts from truck border traffic, not even at the VW plant in Saxony and the Porsche plant in Leipzig. Volkswagen Sachsen emphasized that no restrictions are expected on Monday and that these are not foreseeable at this point in time.

Auto industry demands more test capacities and approval of self-rapid tests for drivers

The auto industry demands that until sufficient test capacities have been built up at the borders, but at least for the next four days, to dispense with a medical test confirmation and to allow self-rapid tests for drivers as an alternative.

After the spread of new virus variants, Germany tightened the rules for entry from EU countries again and sometimes ordered controls at the border. Since Sunday, only Germans, foreigners with a residence and residence permit in Germany, seasonal agricultural workers and health workers have been allowed to enter Austria from the Czech Republic and large parts of Tyrol.

Entry into Germany should be possible for a few exceptions, including “personnel in goods transport and other necessary transport personnel”. According to the information, exceptional privileges for transport employees are no longer applicable, so that they – like every normal traveler – have to carry a negative test result when entering the country. The federal government also classified Slovakia as an area with particularly dangerous virus mutations.

“If the component doesn’t get through, the belts stand still”

According to the VDA, truck drivers have to show a negative corona test result from the last 48 hours. This must be confirmed by a doctor and be available in three languages. “We understand that vigorous measures are taken, but this new test obligation for truck drivers cannot be implemented at such short notice,” said the VDA spokesman.

The German automotive industry is supplied just-in-time from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and northern Italy, i.e. only when there is an actual need – but also just-in-sequence, that is, deliveries in exactly the quantity required for production and order.

The components would be delivered directly to the assembly line, it said. “If the component does not get through, the conveyor belts come to a standstill.” The measures announced at short notice made it impossible to create appropriate stocks.

jg / dpa


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