Angela Merkel facing German business revolt as EU cracks down on non-essential travel

German business owners struggle amid travel restrictions

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The EU has stuck to advising member states to bar non-essential travel from the United States. Since the advice was issued by Brussels a fortnight ago, a number of countries including Bulgaria and Sweden have put restrictions on US travel in place. The European Union had lifted a previous ban on US holidaymakers entering the bloc, and the decision by Washington not to do the same has left businesses in Germany frustrated.

VDMA Foreign Trade Department Head Ulrich Ackermann told DW News: “It is impossible to install machinery

“Machines can’t be serviced or maintained.

“Executives cannot visit their subsidiaries

“In the engineering sector, we have 1800 subsidiaries in the US, and we can’t travel to trade fair either which is important the US exhibition season begins in the fall.”

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SMS Group Head of Financial services Jens Haupt added: “You only know at short notice if our employees can get in or not.

“I have to make backup plans like how can I cover with local people.

“How can I work out if I have enough people in the end?

“It very much complicates the business and as a result makes things very difficult to plan.”

Angela Merkel heckled during speech in German Bundestag

German plant manufacturers currently hold contracts worth in excess of $1billion with US steel companies.

The US travel ban on EU countries has made the work of German engineers much more difficult to complete.

Exemptions to the US travel ban can be granted in areas of national interest, which could cover the steel industry, but this has not been issued.

Last year then President Donald Trump closed US borders in March, this policy was later extended by President Joe Biden.

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It comes as the Chancellor looked to encourage unvaccinated Germans to get the jab during her weekly podcast on Sunday.

Ms Merkel told listeners “never was it simpler to get a vaccination. Never has it been quicker.”

She said: “Unfortunately the infection rate and the number of Covid-19 patients have risen again in recent weeks.

“To get through autumn and winter, we must convince more people to get vaccinated. I ask you: protect yourself and other people. Get vaccinated.”

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