Germany enacts new health security measures against coronavirus infections

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A German government crisis committee on Friday widened cross-border travel guidelines and canceled major international events, measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

It expanded regulations for air and sea travel, requiring passengers from South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran to report their health status before entry. Previously only passengers from China had been required to do so.

The emergency measures follow the identification of further cases of infections in Germany, a continued drop in stocks, and growing expectations that Germany could fall into recession as a result of the outbreak.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Germany was at the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic after new cases emerged which could no longer be traced to the virus’s original source in China.

The committee, formed by the health and interior ministries and meeting twice a week, also said train railway companies were obliged to report passengers with symptoms to authorities and that federal police will step up checks within 30 kilometers of the border.

The officials also called on cancellation of big international events, like the ITB Tourism Fair, which was called off on Friday.

The fair was due to take place next week in Berlin, with around 10,000 exhibitors scheduled to attend.

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