Czech drivers risk fines for taking a Saxony shortcut, warns Foreign Ministry

German police have reportedly been issuing fines of €150 to Czech drivers in Saxony, though transit though the region should still be allowed

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 12.12.2020 16:59 (updated on 12.12.2020)

German police have been fining Czech drivers who enter Saxony as a shortcut to get from one Czech destination to another, the Czech Foreign Ministry has tweeted. The Czech embassy in Berlin has recommended that Czechs refrain from the practice.

German police, nevertheless, told CTK that transit is possible for Czech citizens if they leave Germany as fast possible without any stopover, for example for the purpose of shopping.

"This mainly applies to the Sluknov Hook area. The fines reach up to 150 euros. According to police in Saxony, this is not considered transit, since transit is still permitted," the Foreign Ministry wrote.

"We recommend that Germany be bypassed [by Czech drivers]," the Ministry added.

From Sluknov Hook, a northernmost area of the Czech Republic surrounded by Saxony on three sides, it can be much shorter to reach other destinations in north Bohemia by driving through Saxony than only on Czech roads.

The Czech embassy in Berlin has told CTK that it has been informed about the issue by the Czech consulate in Dresden, and that officials in Saxony seem to fear Czech people's lax approach to coronavirus restrictions.

"I recommend that Czech citizens do not underestimate the situation, also for the sake of the mood in Saxony, and instead drive a few more kilometers. We can consider this a small investment in mutual trust," said Czech ambassador Tomáš Kafka.

Christian Meinhold, a German police spokesman in Pirna (Saxony), said that those who enter Saxony only with the aim of transit, and who would leave the region as fast as possible, are exempt from Saxony's rule that binds people to report and quarantine themselves on entry.

"This rule, however, does not apply to those traveling with a different purpose, for example shopping, or if they do not follow the fastest possible transit route," Meinhold said.