Lockdown has been expanded – with many opening options | Free press

High pressure towards release on the one hand, increasing number of infections and spread of virus variants on the other. Against this background, it takes a long time for the result to be available.

Berlin (dpa) – The lockdown to combat the corona pandemic in Germany will be extended to March 28 due to the persistently high number of infections.

However, there should be many opening options depending on the infection situation. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers of the state decided in Berlin after hours of negotiations.

A step-by-step opening strategy with built-in emergency brake has been agreed: If individual release leads to a sharp increase in the number of infections in a region, all eases already applied are automatically canceled.

Next Monday, the very limited possibilities for private contact must already be relaxed. Then it is again possible to have private meetings between your own household and another household, but limited to a maximum of five people. In regions with a seven-day incidence of less than 35 new infections per week, you can also meet your own household with two other households with a total of up to ten people. Children up to 14 years of age are exempt from this. So far, a household can meet at most one person from another household.

After the first openings at schools and hairdressers, bookstores, flower shops and garden centers will follow in a second step. These are already open in individual federal states; now, according to the state round’s resolution, they will be nationally allocated to retailers for day-to-day needs. The condition is that hygiene concepts and a customer limit are respected. Driving and flying schools can also resume their activities under certain conditions.

There may be other limited gaps in regions where the incidence of only 100 new infections per 100,000 population is lower than the seven-day incidence. In addition to retail appointment shopping, museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens, and memorials can then open to visitors with an appointment booking. Individual sports alone or in pairs and sports in groups of a maximum of ten children up to 14 years in the outdoor area must therefore be allowed. With a stable seven-day incidence of less than 50, the requirements are dropped or weakened. Then contactless sports in small groups in the open air should be possible again.

According to the decision, the next opening steps are made conditional on the previous phase not leading to a worsening of the seven-day incidence for 14 days. After that, it primarily involves opening outdoor catering, cinemas, theaters, concert and opera houses, but also contactless indoor sports and outdoor contact sports. In the next step, more sports and leisure events are on the agenda. Again, up to an incidence of 100, higher requirements should apply, such as daily tests or mandatory booking, which will lapse with a seven-day incidence of up to 50 new infections.

Important elements for further openings should be vaccination and testing. It has been agreed that the GPs and specialist practices will be fully involved in the vaccination campaign at the end of March / beginning of April in order to accelerate it. Free corona rapid tests are expected to be available to all citizens from next week. From then on, the federal government will take over the costs. At least one rapid test per week should be possible, which trained personnel can do, for example, in test centers or medical practices.

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