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Germany to tighten Austrian border controls ahead of G7 summit

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Germany to tighten Austrian border controls ahead of G7 summit
The Castle Elmau Hotel is pictured on May 17, 2022 in Kruen near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany. The castle is just a few kilometres from Austria. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Travellers may face extra security checks on the Austria-Germany border as world leaders meet in Bavaria.

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In order to increase the security for the heads of state attending the G7 summit at the Schloss Elmau near the Alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany is temporarily re-establishing border controls, including at its border with Austria.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen city is located in Bavaria, which shares an 815-kilometre border with Austria, and is just a few kilometres from Austria's Tyrol state.

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The controls are aimed at preventing potential violent perpetrators from entering Germany ahead of the G7 summit, which is taking place from June 26th to 28th.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Which Schengen area countries have border controls in place and why?

“Travellers must therefore expect to be checked during this period,” said the government’s Interior Ministry in a statement. The border is particularly busy, with travellers and commuters going back and forth every day.

The German ministry said the checks would be carried out at the “German land, air and sea Schengen internal borders” depending on the situation, meaning that they could be more intense in certain areas or on particular dates.

Authorities warned travellers that disruptions to cross-border traffic are possible “but will be limited to what is necessary for security”.

The government reminded travellers that they are always “obliged to carry their passport or identity card when crossing the border”.

Austrian-German collaboration

Bavarian border police are supporting federal police during the checks, aiming to ensure the summit runs as smoothly as possible.

READ ALSO: What is Austria’s ‘traffic calendar’ and how can it help me save time?

The city hosting the event borders the Austrian state of Tyrol, and the state's police are prepared to assist in case of demonstrations and protests, according to Tiroler Tageszeitung.

The meeting also affects Austria's airspace, as Germany is introducing an "airspace restriction area" which includes massive parts of Tyrol, authorities say.

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The Elmau Castle, where the G7 summit is happening, is just four kilometres away from Austria at the narrowest point.

This year Germany holds the presidency of the G7, a forum which also includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the UK and the USA. The summit will have the precedes of the leaders of the world's largest economies, including German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italy's Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron, the UK prime minister Boris Johnson, and US president Joe Biden, among others. 

European Union leaders Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission president, and Charles Michel, EU Council president will also be in attendance.

Several demonstrations are expected in the surrounding area.

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