Long lines of trucks on German-Czech border

The new restrictions along the normally open borders were prompted by alarm over outbreaks in the Czech Republic and Austria's Tyrol region of strains of the coronavirus that spread faster and cause more illness.

German police at the Czech and Austrian frontiers have been allowing in only truck drivers, German citizens, and cross-border commuters in possession of negative COVID-19 test certificates.

A German government spokesman said the decision to impose border controls with the Czech Republic and Austria was a temporary measure of last resort.

Many German manufacturers, especially carmakers, rely on parts produced in eastern Europe and there have been fears that strict controls could crimp production.