DChancellor Merkel and the prime ministers of the federal states agreed on new measures in the fight against the spread of the corona virus much faster than at the last meeting. Before noon, Angela Merkel appeared before the press to announce which course Germany would take in the coming weeks. In addition to the closure of the retail trade, a nightly curfew in Corona hotspots is now to apply from December 16 to January 10. Hotspots are regions with more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
This means that staying in public space is then only allowed for very few valid reasons. So far, according to the Corona Ordinance, these have been emergencies or medically urgent treatments as well as the way to work and the exercise of custody and access rights. The care of people in need of support and the accompaniment of the dying or “actions to care for animals” allow exceptions to the curfew.
Attendance at church services should also be allowed on Christmas days. During the day it remains largely with the exit restrictions, even with the permission to meet another household outside of your own. And the contact rules will only be relaxed for the Christmas holidays.
However, the individual federal states will be given more leeway in interpreting the new regulations. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) announced a general curfew at night, no longer just for hotspots. This should apply between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Free State will “maximally” implement the lockdown decided by the federal and state governments, said Söder.
The Free State of Saxony goes into lockdown two days before the Federal Republic. The nightly curfews in hotspots start here on Monday and apply between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. In addition, there is a mask requirement where people meet, even in public spaces. Alcohol is forbidden in public. For shopping, leisure and sport, people should stay within 15 kilometers of the living area during the day. Compliance with the new rules is monitored more closely. In return, however, the measures will be relaxed from December 23 at 12 noon to December 27 at 12 noon.
In Saxony-Anhalt, however, according to Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU), there will probably not be any relaxation of the contact rules over Christmas. It remains that a maximum of five people are allowed to meet, said Haseloff on Sunday in Wittenberg. Children up to 14 years of age who are related to one of those present are not counted.
In Baden-Württemberg, however, a regulation came into force on Saturday, according to which people are only allowed to leave the house “purposefully” during the day. A curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. already applies at night and in the evening under this regulation.
Here the police reports from Stuttgart and Mannheim, for example, that most people adhered to the night curfew. In addition, those stopped by the police during curfew could have given valid reasons, such as getting home from work. A pass is not required for this, the state of Baden-Württemberg only speaks of “credibility”. However, many did not know the rules that have been in effect since Saturday. However, most were understandable when the officials explained the requirements.
The next round between the federal and state governments has already been scheduled for January 5th. According to Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Kretschmann, it should then be discussed how things will continue from January 11th. “But I can already say one thing today: if the numbers don’t go down significantly by then, we will need drastic restrictions after that too.”