Berlin (dpa) – After months of corona lockdown in Germany, there are signs of further opening steps.
However, these depend on the regional contamination rate and are provided 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. Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) had also said that he found a relaxation with appropriate concepts justified in March. Individual prime ministers slowed. For example, the head of state of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), does not see any quick opening steps – first of all, the infrastructure for massive rapid and self-testing must be in place, he said. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) campaigned for cautious openings. One of the biggest points of contention in the upcoming talks between Prime Minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is probably which incidence values will be adopted 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. However, it is still changing all the time, it said Tuesday. Negotiations are still ongoing and final decisions are not expected 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 AND BOOKSTORES: In some countries hardware stores are already open, in others not. This should be more uniform: the design prescribes that bookstores, flower shops and garden markets can open with hygiene concepts and a personal limit. The same could be true for 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 value to be determined, “click and meet” could in any case be allowed, ie shopping after booking an appointment and with contact follow-up. Among other things, there is still a significant need for negotiation on this point, he said.
MUSEUMS AND ZOOS: Museums, galleries, zoos and botanical gardens, as well as memorials, can reopen from a value of 35 – if the incidence has yet to be determined, at least by appointment.
GASTRONOMY: According to the draft, outdoor areas of restaurants may only open if the incidence remains stable for 14 days below 35. From a value that has yet to be determined, you can at least eat out by making an appointment. Tests are necessary when people from different 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 exercising or jogging together, but no football or basketball. In any case, if the infection level has yet to be determined, jogging and fitness for two and, for children, sports in small groups outside can be allowed. The design only provides for non-contact indoor sports, for example in the gym and outdoor contact sports, if the incidence in the region remains stable below 35 for 14 days – here too the daily tests could be relaxed earlier.
THEATER, CONCERT HALLS, CINEMA: These cultural offers could only be available regularly if there is a stable index of less than 35. Under the concept, this could possibly happen earlier with testing.
EMERGENCY BRAKE: In principle there is some kind of emergency brake. Should the incidence return above a certain value on several consecutive days, the currently applicable lockdown rules should come into effect immediately – automatically and without any additional decision. However, the threshold for this is still open.
SCHOOLS: The state education ministers announced that the changing or face-to-face lessons that started in primary schools should be extended to other years. This must apply “if the contamination situation still permits”. Dates are not listed.
FURTHER NOTICE: According to the motion for a resolution, further relaxation, for example for interior spaces of restaurants, for events, travel and the hotel industry, will not be discussed until the next state round. The date has been set for 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. Laschet emphasized that “test, test, test” is now the message next to vaccination. “Because we will need millions of tests and self-tests in Germany in the coming months to live with the virus and live with the pandemic,” said the CDU chief.
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 rapid tests per week. The federal states may need to ensure that school and daycare staff “and all students” are offered at least one or two free quick tests per week. And all other citizens should also get one or two free quick tests per week, for example at test centers or at doctors.