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Tomorrow I will drive from the Cologne area to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The shortest route would be via A2 and pass right through Kreis Gütersloh, currently infamous for being a COVID hotspot. Should I prefer to take another route even if it is an hour longer? Do I have to expect any checks on the Autobahn there? Do I have to expect trouble entering Meck-Pom after passing there? I know that Meck-Pom is very restrictive with visitors from the Gütersloh area without a very recent negative test

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    Since the likelihood of getting infected while driving at a speed of around 100 km without stopping through an infected area where the infected persons have been isolated is 0.0000000%, you should have no problems. – Mark Johnson Jun 27 at 21:41
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    Are there travel restrictions within Germany ? – Max Jun 27 at 22:07
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    @Max There are restrictions for persons who reside inside lockdown areas to stay in other states. This effects persons registering in a hotel and giving an address from that area. The term being used is Beherbergungsverbot. – Mark Johnson Jun 27 at 22:39
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    @MarkJohnson The likelihood of getting infected while not working in that slaughterhouse is also quite low. My concern was not for getting infected – Hagen von Eitzen Jun 27 at 23:07
  • The likelihood of getting infected while not working in that slaughterhouse is also quite low. – Well, but when living in that area there is a considerably increased likelihood that you encountered somebody during your daily activites who worked there, are contracted the virus that way. That’s quite a different thing. – Wrzlprmft Jun 29 at 5:58
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The Gütersloh and Rheda-Wiedenbrück areas of Germany has certainly seen a sharp rise in cases which appears to have originated in the Tönnies meat processing factory and spread into the community.

Restrictions are however limited to those who reside in the area, until at least the end of June 2020 (lets see if these will be extended or not).

They include such things as:

  • Closing of schools and Kindergartens
  • Restrictions on contact between households
  • Further restrictions on restaurants (some have chosen to close completely)
  • Bars, Cinemas, fitness studios, etc must close
  • Other businesses must implement strict hygiene protocols
  • etc.

There are also restrictions on where people from the area can travel to, even within Germany with people having to prove to be virus free. But these only apply to residents of the area.

But there are no restrictions on driving through the area. All Autobahns and major Bundesstrassen roads remain open as normal. And there are no restrictions on people who have driven through the area who have not spent time there. There are no additional controls or checks on the borders between states within Germany.

Even if you did stop in the area, e.g. to refuel, so long as you follow the general guidelines of wearing a mask, washing your hands etc. then there should be no need to worry. You would need to spend some time with an infected person to catch the virus (how long exactly has not been determined by scientists, but figures of 10-15 mins have been mentioned).

You will almost certainly not catch it by just driving through the area in your car. And hence the restrictions in place reflect this, and apply only for residents.

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    There are also restrictions on where people from the area can travel to, even within Germany with people having to prove to be virus free. But these only apply to residents of the area. How are those restrictions enforced? Self-declaration? – Relaxed Jun 29 at 8:14
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    @Relaxed There is no single rule, and each state is determining individually what should apply. This can include a 14 day quarantine period or a recent negative test (normally within 48 hours). – jason.kaisersmith Jun 29 at 8:35
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    @Relaxed This is enforced when peaple register in hotels, pensions, camping places. Based on their ID, person from (at present) 2 counties can only stay if the have a medical certificate issued in the last 48 hours. Most states have passed laws to this effect that came into force on the 27th of June. – Mark Johnson Jun 29 at 9:10
  • OK, what about Mecklenburg-Vorpommern then? What's their rule and how do they enforce it? Do they go by your officially registered address? Call on people from Gütersloh to report themselves to the authorities to get a test? Can there be spot checks by the police (as there were in France or Italy)? This seems to be the gist of the question to me. – Relaxed Jun 29 at 9:11
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    @cbeleitesunhappywithSX Yes, but these exceptions (for medical personal, transporters etc.) have existed in most countries since the beginning of the pandemic. For Gütersloh the restrictions have just been extended for another week. For the 2nd county (Warendorf) it will not be renewed. – Mark Johnson Jun 29 at 13:57

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