Berlin/Washington DC – For business travelers, it is currently difficult and in some cases nearly impossible to travel to the United States or China. Washington and Beijing have implemented strict entry rules for visitors to the Schengen area. The restrictions remain unchanged, although the epidemic figures in the European Union are roughly the same as those in the United States. Closed borders are a major problem for the German economy, as Ulrich Ackermann, head of foreign trade at the German Machine and Plant Construction Association (VDMA), tells Berliner Zeitung.
How is the situation for Germans with work permits?
“The pressure in companies is increasing significantly as Americans present higher barriers to entry for EU citizens. Every day we have up to ten inquiries from companies that customers in the United States are in urgent need of travel. The visit is also necessary from the customers point of view.” The VDMA president recently sent a letter to the US Embassy to seek a solution for the companies. Ackerman is hopeful that “we will come to a solution in the near future, as US-Americans have been allowed to enter the Schengen area as tourists for a long time without any restrictions and without barriers.”
The situation is especially important for Germans with a work permit and the right of residence in the United States. If Germans return home at short notice due to bereavement, they must apply for another special permit after entering Germany or stay in a non-Schengen country for 14 days before returning.
According to Ackerman, the situation in China is even more difficult: business travelers here are forced to stay in state quarantine for 14 days. The VDMA expert reports that business travelers are “sometimes kept in inappropriate accommodation” – in a confined space, without balconies and completely isolated. Ackerman: “We get reports from travelers that this condition has brought it to a psychologically tolerable extent.” There is no improvement in vision here: “The official narrative in China is that the virus came into China from abroad. Therefore, foreigners who may have brought the virus should be isolated.”
China doesn’t care what the people of the world think of it
Furthermore, China is taking a new path to the West: “China is no longer interested in what the people of the world think of it. After the G7, the statement from Beijing that this is the old world, it is irrelevant. For now, China takes its own decisions.” The VDMA expert believes that the situation with China will not change for long. They do not expect any relief for the current year.
Another problem: Most states only recognize certain vaccines. For example, when traveling to China, you need to be vaccinated against the Chinese vaccine, which is also not approved in the European Union. It is not entirely clear how the different methods of vaccination will be implemented in the coming months.
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