German border officials on Wednesday morning began denying entry to non-EU citizens arriving at Frankfurt Airport.
The move was in accordance with a coordinated entry ban agreed upon by EU member states the evening before that is meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic into the EU, currently the epicenter of the global outbreak.
“We have no possibilities today to get the non-European passengers into the country,” Frankfurt Airport spokesman Alexander Zell said, adding that border controllers would still be considering visas.
Around 5,000 people on 100 flights will need to be checked by immigration officials at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s DPA press agency reported.
The number of those who will be turned back has yet to be specified, however, airlines have been asked to fly non-EU citizens denied entry back to their airport of origin.
Who can enter? Who can’t?
German citizens and their families may still enter the country. The same holds for people with German residence permits as well as EU citizens and citizens of Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and their families.
Travelers in possession of a visa that approves them for a longer stay in Germany, such as students, will also be allowed to enter the country, according to the German Federal Police, which is overseeing the border controls.
It is also still possible for transit passengers to make their connecting flights as long as they remain within the designated transit area of the airport.
Entry will also be allowed to travelers who have an “urgent reason” to enter Germany. In such cases, entry allowance will be decided on a case by case basis, the police said. Travelers must provide documentation to prove the necessity of their trip.
Travelers who do not meet these conditions will be turned back, Germany’s Interior Ministry said on its website.