Easter in the pandemic: the new corona rules | Free press


Berlin (dpa) – The number of coronavirus infections is on the rise. In their new resolutions, federal and state governments warn of an overload of the health system in April.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Ministers are urging citizens to “keep all contacts to the absolute minimum and, in particular, to avoid indoor meetings”.

Unless otherwise agreed, the foregoing requirements continue to apply. Federal states should include innovations in their regulations by March 29; they apply until April 18.

EMERGENCY BRAKE: Federal and state governments emphasize the need to consistently apply the “emergency brake” agreed in early March. It should take effect when the 7-day incidence per 100,000 population in a country or region is more than 100 new infections on three consecutive days. Then the restrictions in force until March 7th will apply again from the second following working day. Further openings should only be made if the 7-day incidence is less than 100 and is stable or declining.

INCIDENCE ABOVE 100: In provinces where the incidence exceeds 100 for 7 days, stricter measures apply. These can look like this:

– Obligation to wear better protective masks in the car for passengers who do not belong to the driver’s household

– Extension of a rapid testing requirement to areas where distance rules and consistent mask wear are difficult

– Exit restrictions

– stricter contact restrictions

CONTACTS: A maximum of five people from two households are allowed to meet. In general, couples should count as one household. Children up to 14 years count extra.

According to the current decree, this also applies to Easter from 1 to 5 April. The remaining emergency brake is not mentioned in this section. This provides for regions or countries with an incidence of more than 100 days for 7 days: only one household and one additional person may meet, with the exception of children up to 14 years of age.

EASTER: From April 1 (Maundy Thursday) to April 5 (Easter Monday), gatherings in public areas are prohibited. Open outdoor restaurants are closed. Shops must also remain closed, only “food retailers in the narrow sense” may open on Stille Saturday (April 3). Religious communities are asked to hold only virtual church services during this time. Vaccination and testing centers remain open. Any opening steps according to the schedule agreed on March 3 must start on April 6 at the earliest.

VACCINE PROTECTION: The Robert Koch Institute will present a report at the next federal state round on April 12 on when vaccinated individuals “are not contagious with sufficient certainty that inclusion in test concepts may be outdated”.

QUICK AND SELF TESTS: Employees in schools and daycare centers and school children should be tested twice a week as soon as possible.

OPENING IN MODEL PROJECTS: In «temporary pilot projects», the federal states are allowed to try out in selected regions how areas of public life can be opened «with strict protective measures and a test concept».

WORKPLACE: Employers must ensure that their employees can work from home. If that is not possible, they should offer regular testing, “at least once and, if available, twice a week”. At the beginning of April, the economic reports should list how many companies are participating. The federal government then wants to investigate possible stricter occupational safety regulations.

ECONOMIC AID: The federal government wants to develop further aid for businesses that have suffered particularly severe and protracted closures.

TRAVEL: The federal government and states are making an “urgent” appeal to refrain from travel that is not absolutely necessary at home and abroad. A quarantine obligation already applies to returnees from foreign areas with large numbers of infections or with a high spread of virus variants. Since a slight spread of Covid-19 variants is to be expected, especially in popular holiday destinations, the federal and state governments expect ‘all airlines’ to consistently test crew and passengers before the return flight and no further expansion of flights during Easter. is. vacation”.

The federal government also wants to prescribe a test before leaving for Germany – but the Bundestag should approve an amendment to the Infection Protection Act.

SENIOR, foster families and homes for the disabled: Unvaccinated residents should be offered vaccination promptly. The offer from the federal government to help the armed forces with testing, for example, is still available.

NEXT STEPS: Chancellor Angela Merkel intends to re-consult with Prime Ministers on April 12.