German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer
(Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)

Berlin: Germany will largely close its borders with France, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembourg from Monday in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the media here.

Temporary border controls will come into effect on 8 a.m. on Monday, with exceptions for goods traffic and commuters for work, reports Xinhua news agency citing Seehofer as saying on Sunday.

Travellers without a valid reason are not allowed to travel in and out, Seehofer said.

The spread of the coronavirus is fast and aggressive, the Minister said, adding that the peak of the disease was yet to reach Germany.

The new measures are meant to break the chain of transmission, he said.

Data from Germany's disease control agency showed that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country climbed to 4,838 as of Sunday afternoon, 1,043 more from the previous day.

The death toll rose to 12.

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