Italy was on Tuesday due to host a summit of health ministers from neighbouring countries to discuss a co-ordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy.
The German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday that the virus is not stopped by land borders.
Asked whether it would be possible to close off entire cities or towns, as Italy has done in the northern Lombardy and Veneto regions, he said that this was a theoretical option but not necessary at this stage.
Since two virus clusters developed last week in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, Italy has reported seven deaths and more than 220 contagions.
The situation has raised concern in the rest of Europe, and fuelled talk about possible border controls on Italy’s borders to limit the contagion.
Late on Sunday, Austria briefly blocked incoming rail traffic from Italy after two suspected cases were detected on a Venice-Munich train, they tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
In Lombardy and Veneto, authorities have taken more draconian virus containment measures, such as sealing off about a dozen towns linked to the outbreak, isolating more than 50,000 people.