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
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
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.