COVID-19 border closure can't stop Germans getting their French baguettes

COVID-19 border closure can't stop Germans getting their French baguettes

Germany France border baguette (1)
Hartmut Fey on Apr 18, 2020 in Carling, eastern France, on the 33rd day of a lockdown in France aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo: AFP/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

VOLKINGEN, Germany: German gourmets refuse to let COVID-19 border closure keep them from their favourite French pastries, with one even resorting to a fishing rod to reel in his baguettes.

Residents in the German border town of Lauterbach are fond of popping across to neighbouring Carling in France for their daily croissants.

So when the border slammed shut to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many were bereft at no longer having access to their favourite boulangerie.

READ: Fearful but impatient, Italy edges toward end of COVID-19 lockdown

But baker Myriam Jansem-Boualit is going the extra mile - or at least, the extra few metres to the border - to make sure her German customers can still have their daily loaf.

Hungry customers can telephone ahead with their orders, and Jansem-Boualit will meet them at the border crossing in the street outside her shop with the fresh baked delicacies.

"There used to be a lot of Germans who came here to buy bread," she said. "They don't dare come any more because ... there are checks. So what I can do now is bring the bread to them ... across the barrier."

Germany France border baguette
Hartmut Fey, a German citizen of Lauterbach, gets his French baguettes at the German-French border using his fisher rod to avoid a penalty of €250 on Apr 18, 2020 in Carling, eastern France. (Photo: AFP/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

Hartmut Fey, 52, is one of her happy customers.

"It has to do with tradition. We've been buying our baguettes and bread here in France for decades," he said.

Fey has even published a video on social media showing himself retrieving his baguettes with a fishing rod. "It was an idea of mine to create awareness," he said.

Fishing tackle is not compulsory, but with a steady stream of customers at the barrier, it seems Fey is not the only one who is hooked.

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Source: AFP/jt

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