Hundreds gathered at both sides of the border crossing between the Polish town of Zgorzelec and the German town of Goerlitz on Friday. Protesters held signs saying ‘Let me go to work!’ and ‘Let me into my home’, demanding the removal of the border fence erected after the countries closed their borders in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
They also urged the Polish government to end the mandatory two-week quarantine for all Poles returning from abroad.
Demonstrators on the Polish side symbolically shook the fence, though according to German police, the rally was peaceful and ended without incident.
Before the lockdown, people travelled freely between Zgorzelec and Goerlitz, with many living in one town and working in the other.
Zgorzelec Mayor Rafal Gronicz told local media that the decision to close the border has “sentenced many people to lose their jobs,” as many Poles regularly commute to Germany for work and have homes there. Some protesters told reporters that the newly-erected fence has left them separated from their families.
Similar rallies have taken place at other Polish-German border crossings. Border crossings with the Czech Republic are expected to see rallies as well this Saturday.