Berlin (dpa) – After months of corona lockdown, there are signs of further opening steps – but depending on the regional contamination rate and with an “emergency brake”.
This is evidenced by a preliminary draft resolution for the Bund-Länder-Round next Wednesday, which has the status of Monday 7.10 pm and, according to reports, has not yet been coordinated with all Länder. Numerous openings have also been linked to rapid mass tests. In principle, the lockdown will be extended to March 28, also because of the danger of the new virus variants.
Recently, many industries and sports clubs and associations had called for an end to the standstill. Individual prime ministers slowed. The head of state of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), currently does not see any quick opening steps – the infrastructure must first be in place for massive quick and self-tests. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) campaigned for cautious openings. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced a more regionally-oriented opening strategy that no longer relies solely on national incidents or R-values, she said, according to information from the Dpa at the Union parliamentary group meeting. She also thinks that openings are needed. Probably the main point of conflict in the upcoming talks between the Prime Minister and Merkel is which incidence values are assumed for which opening steps.
The draft document for the Bund-Länder round, first reported by “Business Insider”, was prepared by a round of the Chancellery, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the states of Berlin and Bavaria. Negotiations have not been completed, he said. The final decisions are not expected in a meeting until Wednesday afternoon. Initially, the following steps were planned:
CONTACTS: From next week, meetings between your own household and another household may be possible again, with a maximum of five people. Currently you are only allowed to meet someone who does not live in the household. From a certain number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week, even more generous rules should be possible: meetings with two other households, maximum ten people. However, it is still unclear from which incidence of seven days this should apply. At Easter – similar to Christmas – it may again be possible to visit relatives in a somewhat larger circle.
GARDEN MARKETS, FLORAL SHOPS AND BOOKSTOPS: In some countries they are already open, in others they are not. This must be more uniform and possible everywhere. This could also apply to so-called body-hugging SERVICES and DRIVING SCHOOLS – but only with a corona test.
RETAIL: If the incidence is stable below 35, retail can reopen with a limit on the number of customers. Above an incidence to be determined, shopping can in any case be allowed after making an appointment and with contact follow-up. But there is still a great need for negotiation, he said.
MUSEUMS, ZOOS, BOTANICAL GARDENS, MEMORIALS: They could reopen from a value of 35 – from an incidence to be determined, at least with an appointment.
GASTRONOMY: According to the draft, outdoor areas may only open if the incidence has remained stable under 35 for 14 days. From a value that has yet to be determined, you can at least eat out by making an appointment. Tests are mandatory if people from several households are sitting at the same table.
SPORT: Sport could also be allowed again from an incidence of 35 in small groups of a maximum of ten people. Only outside and contactless, such as fitness or jogging together, but no football. The design only provides for non-contact indoor sports, for example in the gym, and contact with outdoor sports only if the incidence in the region remains stable for 14 days below 35 – again daily tests could be relaxed sooner.
THEATER, CONCERT HALLS, CINEMAS: They could normally only open when the incidence is stable below 35, with tests possibly earlier.
EMERGENCY BRAKE: Should the incidence exceed a certain value on several consecutive days, the currently applicable lockdown rules should automatically re-apply – without any additional decision. However, the threshold for this is still open.
SCHOOLS: Ministers of Education announced that classes started in primary schools should be extended to other years – “if the contagion situation still permits”.
FURTHER RELAXATION: Under the draft decision, the draft decision will not discuss relaxation for events, travel and the hotel industry until March 24.
The 35 broad-front easing limit announced during the latest federal state round could now be abolished – if much more testing is done. Regular corona tests are “an important building block to enable greater normalcy and secure contacts,” the design said.
Merkel announced a broad testing strategy for the months of April, May and June, which should ensure the planned easing. Later, this will no longer be necessary due to the progress of the vaccination, she said in the group. Corona self-tests are not yet widely available in addition to the rapid antigen tests. You definitely need March to create a comprehensive opening security strategy. CDU boss Laschet stressed that “test, test, test” is now the message next to vaccination.
The federal government and the prime minister also wanted to talk to industry representatives about expanding testing in companies. Under the draft, companies could be required to offer their personal employees at least one or even two free quick tests per week – but this is met with resistance in the economy. States may need to ensure that the school and daycare center and students also receive one or two rapid tests. All other citizens should be able to do this in testing centers or with doctors.
While the motion still focuses on the incidents as benchmarks, legal and health politicians in the coalition groups want to set further criteria: such as the number of people vaccinated and the R value, as both sides have confirmed. The necessary amendment to the Infection Protection Act could already be decided on Thursday in the Bundestag.