The closure of borders linked to the fight against Covid-19 is impacting the daily lives of the 170,000 cross-border workers in the region. The point with Frontaliers Grand Est and the European Consumer Centre (ECC).
To curb the spread of the dreaded Covid-19 virus, most European countries have adopted radical measures. In France, since Tuesday 17 March 2020, all public places have been closed for at least two weeks, except those selling essential goods (supermarkets, pharmacies, etc.). Travel is limited to the strict minimum. One can travel, in some cases, to get to work provided that it is “necessary for the life of the nation”. And on condition that you have an authorization from your employer specifying the travel schedules. The President of the Republic reminded him: “we are at war”.
This confinement has very important economic, social and political consequences, the effects of which it is impossible for the moment to measure.
Among our neighbours
The same is true in most European countries, which have in turn closed their borders. In particular our neighbours in the Far East: Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, where some 170,000 cross-border commuters go to work every day. For them, in addition to the general containment measures, border controls and the specificities of the host country.
To help them, the Association Travailleurs Frontaliers, based in Metz, has put a frequently asked questions section on its website. Which “offers unique legal information on cross-border mobility in the Greater Region” says Julien Dauer, one of the association’s lawyers. This site “makes it easy to find information on labour law, taxation and social protection in order to facilitate the procedures for cross-border commuters”.
In two clicks, one on the “labour law” tab, the other on the “coronavirus-Covid19 ” tab, border workers have reliable answers to the questions they have, whatever the border they are crossing: France-Luxembourg, France-Germany, France-Belgium, France-Switzerland. Whether it concerns border controls, containment measures, questions about sick leave, possible quarantine, refusal of access to companies, short-time working, social security issues… The answers are updated and links are provided to the competent bodies and documents to download.
A precious help in these times troubled by the coronavirus.