Germany to tighten controls at French border over ‘high’ coronavirus risk – POLITICO



German health authorities on Sunday designated the Moselle region of eastern France as a “high risk” zone because of the prevalence of coronavirus variants, and said tougher border restrictions would be imposed beginning Tuesday.

Germany has already imposed severe restrictions at some border crossings with the Czech Republic and Austria, drawing complaints about Berlin’s departure from a European Council effort to coordinate such measures.

During a European Council video summit on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told other heads of state and government that Germany’s measures were necessary and she insisted that the tighter rules were not disrupting commerce. Other countries have disputed that assertion.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s federal disease control and prevention agency, announced the new high-risk designation for Moselle in a statement on Sunday.  

As a result, cross-border travelers may face demands for proof of a PCR test within the past 48 hours showing they are not infected with coronavirus.

French officials, including junior minister for European affairs, Clément Beaune, quickly voiced apprehension over the tougher border restrictions.

“I regret this German decision because it implies a certain number of slowdowns, difficulties at the borders, again not for touristic movements, but for work,” Beaune said on France Info radio. He said that French officials were still negotiating with German counterparts over the situation.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email [email protected] for a complimentary trial. 



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Former Indi MP Cathy McGowan ends 300-strong national conference for independents | The Border Mail


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Former Indi MP Cathy McGowan led the first national convention for community-minded independents across the weekend. The online event brought together 300 people, with member for Indi Helen Haines, Zali Steggall, Professor Kerryn Phelps, Jacqui Lambie, Ali Cupper and Suzanna Sheed among the guest speakers. Regional leader and businesswoman Susan Benedyka announced her tilt for a Victorian Senate seat. IN OTHER NEWS: Ms McGowan said she was overwhelmed by the interest in the convention. “The rising interest in community independents isn’t surprising given the ongoing disillusionment with Australian politics,” she said. “People want and expect better from their elected representatives, and that’s a key reason we’re seeing more community leaders like Susan Benedyka step forward as candidates and campaigners and an increasing number of people coming together to create community ‘voices’ groups. “The convention was designed to spark and support the national grassroots movement of ‘voices for’ by connecting individuals and ‘voices for’ groups from across the country, and to help guide communities to select and get behind the election of their own leaders to state or federal parliament, and even local government.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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NSW Police confirm man in 20s killed after collision between a ute and truck on Sturt Highway | The Border Mail


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A man has died after a two-vehicle crash near Tarcutta. About 1:30am on Saturday, emergency services were called to the Sturt Highway following reports a truck and a ute had collided. The driver of the ute, believed to be aged in his late 20s, died at the scene. He is yet to be formally identified. The male truck driver was treated by paramedics for minor injuries. The 66-year-old was taken to Wagg hospital for mandatory testing. Officers from Riverina Police District attended and are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. A report is being prepared for the coroner. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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Migrants Deported, Turned Away on US-Mexico Border Friday Afternoon



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JUAREZ (Sputnik) – Several groups of asylum-seeking migrants were deported or turned away at the Paso Del Norte International Bridge between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Most of the migrants seen on Friday afternoon appeared to be families, mostly women and children.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that due to the pandemic and the administration not having time to put in place humane process for processing asylum-seeking migrants, “now is not the time to come and the vast majority of people will be turned away.”

The United States began processing migrants February 19 at the port of entry between Tijuana, Mexico, and the US city of San Diego, California.

US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it has seen a steady increase in border encounters since April 2020, which has caused some facilities to reach maximum safe holding capacity. CBP data shows that more than 70,000 migrants have been apprehended at the US-Mexico border each month from October to January.

Later on Friday, a group of 25 asylum-seeking migrants crossed into the United States at the Paso Del Norte International Bridge after being required to wait in Mexico under the now repealed Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program. They were the first to cross at this port of entry, which is one of the three entry points where MPP migrants will be processed in the United States.

About 25,000 asylum-seeking migrants have active cases under MPP and are eligible to cross into the United States to await their immigration hearings.



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Cane toad discovered in southern Riverina prompts community alert | The Border Mail


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A cane toad has been discovered in the southern Riverina, sparking an alert as biosecurity authorities investigate how it ended up in the region. The deceased female toad at Jindera was reported to and confirmed by the NSW Department of Industries invasive species biosecurity unit late on Monday. It is still unknown how the toad made it to the region, and whether its arrival could spawn more of the pests. IN OTHER NEWS: “The nature of the toad’s death meant that a post-mortem was unable to be performed to confirm whether it was either carrying or had just laid eggs,” NSW DPI said in a statement. The community is urged to be on the lookout for more suspected cane toads, and advised not to kill an amphibian unless it has been positively identified to be a cane toad as it could be a native frog. Murray Local Land Services (LLS) biosecurity and emergency services manager Geoff Corboy said it’s likely the cane toad hitched a ride on a southbound truck. “The most likely explanation is that it was a stowaway on a truck delivering materials from north-east NSW or Queensland,” he said. “If you’re coming from cane toad infested areas such as Queensland or the Northern Territory, please check your luggage, vehicle or trailer to ensure you are not unwittingly carrying an unwanted passenger.” Suspected cane toads should be reported immediately to the DPI Biosecurity by calling the helpline on 1800 680 244, completing the online form or emailing a photo of the amphibian’s face and details to invasive.species@dpi.nsw.gov.au If you think you have seen a cane toad, the DPI advises if you catch it to report it, be careful. Wear protective clothing before touching it, watch out for poisin and keep it in a well-ventilated container with a little water in a cool location while the organisation determines the species. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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South Australia to reopen border to Greater Melbourne on Friday



South Australia will reopen its border to Greater Melbourne from 12.01am on Friday.

The lifting of border measures mean people entering the state from Melbourne will no longer be required to undergo COVID-19 testing on days one, five and 12.

SA Premier Steven Marshall described the border reopening as a “huge relief”.


“Victoria has got on top of their outbreak, we are very grateful for the work they have done and we are looking forward to welcoming people from across that border,” he said.
South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said Victoria had done “extremely well” in containing the Holiday Inn outbreak.
“That is all very much under control,” she said.
“There is no evidence at all of community transmission in that state.”
The majority of people from Melbourne currently undergoing quarantine will be able to be released, aside from those who attended a tier one exposure site.


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Twin City Classic Vehicle Club running drive-in cinema in Albury | The Border Mail


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Drive-in cinema is returning to Albury thanks to the Twin City Classic Vehicle Club. The first of what’s hoped to be many drive-ins is taking place at Albury Showgrounds on Saturday night. Aussie cult film Running on Empty will play on a 10-by-six-metre screen. Club president Nathan Maloney said there had been many discussions over the years about getting such an event happening. “We’re looking to make it an ongoing thing, whether it be our club or other clubs, that also come in and run it as a community thing,” he said. “Entry will be raising money for the car club and that’ll give us an opportunity to give to a few charities. “We’re hoping to bring drive-in back to the Border. “I was six when I last saw one out at Thurgoona.” Unlike the drive-in that used to operate on Corrys Road, the screen – purchased by Redi 2 Hire in Wodonga a few months ago – is a pop-up. Running on Empty was a logical first choice for the car club, which has a dark green 1975 Holden HJ Monaro, the only model and colour of its kind in Australia, among its ranks. “It’s probably the most classic car movie Australia has ever made,” Mr Maloney said. “There’s a ’57 Chev and a couple old Holdens and panel vans. “You’ll see some of the makes in the movie in the crowd.” Saturday night will be the biggest event the car club has run since before the pandemic, and there has been huge interest on social media. “We’ll probably have to cap it at 300 cars,” Mr Maloney said. “We’ll have a COVID check-in and monitors in the crowd. IN OTHER NEWS: “The Lions Club will have their kiosk open, so people can get some food and then sit back and enjoy the movie.” It will be first-in, best-dressed – gates open at 6pm with the movie starting at 7.30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $12 per adult and $6 per child under 16.

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South Australia eases COVID restrictions, reopens border to Melbourne


South Australia will open its border to Melburnians and ease a number of COVID restrictions on dancing.

Premier Steven Marshall on Wednesday announced travel restrictions on people coming from Greater Melbourne would end at 12.01am Friday.

Anyone entering South Australia won’t need to isolate or seek coronavirus testing.

In addition to the border announcement, Marshall also confirmed several restrictions would be rolled back.

Dancing and drinking will be permitted in venues that cater to fewer than 200 people.

In venues that can host 200 to 1000 people, dancing will be permitted on a designated dancefloor with no more than 50 patrons.

Venues that host more than 1000 people will still be subject to a dedicated COVID management plan.

Victoria on Wednesday reported no new coronavirus cases for a fifth consecutive day.

South Australia reported one new case, a returned traveller in hotel quarantine who was not symptomatic.

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews urged to implement proportionate COVID safety rules in virus-free areas | The Border Mail



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All eyes are once again on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for a much-anticipated easing of COVID-19 restrictions following his “circuit-breaker” statewide lockdown ending a week ago. As devastating as the shutdown was for business, in particular regional hospitality which bore the brunt of the drastic measures, the Premier would rightly point to the scoreboard and say the pain was worth it in preventing a third wave of the virus running wild in Melbourne. Yesterday, his NSW counterpart, Gladys Berejiklian released the brakes in her state with one of the instant beneficiaries being a bigger crowd able to attend the Melbourne Storm-Newcastle Knights NRL trial match to be played at Albury Sportsground on Saturday. Organisers were initially told they could have 3000 people, but the figured has been revised up to 3750. Enviously looking on are Victorian football-netball clubs which have been told they can only have 1000 people at games. IN OTHER NEWS The disparity makes no sense for regions like ours which have pulled out a best-on-ground response to COVID-19, but are still being punished on the desperate road back to normality from a year in which no community sport was played. Even more frustrating for local players, fans and volunteers is the red carpet treatment afforded events such as the Australian Open tennis to go ahead in Melbourne. Clubs have been told they can have crowds of more than 1000 people if they fill out lengthy submissions for health officials which take an eternity to tick them off. The same applies to festivals, racehorse meetings and rodeos with some of our most iconic events such as the Towong Cup, Mighty Mitta Muster and Man From Snowy River Bush Festival just around the corner and hoping to get the green light for a meaningful occasion The community has given up so much for so long not to do the right thing in continuing to keep eachother virus-free and will happily play ball in abiding by proportionate and appropriate COVID safety rules given the opportunity. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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Lavington’s Jason McGregor wins $100,000 from the Cash Cow | The Border Mail


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An Albury warehouse worker has started the day $100,000 richer after winning a breakfast TV competition. Lavington’s Jason McGregor took out Channel Seven’s Sunrise Cash Cow jackpot after answering the life-changing phone call on Tuesday morning. Mr McGregor told Sunrise hosts Kochie and Sam he plans to put the money towards his mortgage, as well as spend it on his fiancée Jodi. “I can’t believe it,” he said. IN OTHER NEWS: The six-figure prize comes after previous winners of the competition didn’t answer the call within the required three rings, seeing the money jackpot. It’s not the largest amount given away, with a Mackay mum taking out $110,000 just weeks ago.

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