Updated January 5, 2021, 7:19 p.m.
Berlin / Munich (dpa / lby) – In around a quarter of the Bavarian districts and cities, freedom of movement is being drastically restricted in the fight against the corona pandemic.
In circles with an incidence of more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week, freedom of movement should be limited to a radius of 15 kilometers from the place of residence – unless there is a valid reason for further trips, such as the Prime Minister of the federal states and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) decided at its meeting on Tuesday in Berlin.
“Day trips are explicitly not a valid reason,” says the decision. According to Merkel, this is intended to put a stop to excursion tourism, as it was most recently known from winter sports areas. In the Bavarian Alps, but also in low mountain ranges, mayors had complained that their places were being overrun by day trippers and that the parking lot situation was at the limit. In addition to the new rules, the old rules of the previous lockdown all continue to apply.
200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days were counted on Tuesday according to the Robert Koch Institute and State Office for Health and Food Safety in 24 of the 96 Bavarian districts and cities. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) also assumes that the numbers could continue to rise if more tests are carried out after the turn of the year and the health authorities report all the numbers.
This could also further increase the number of districts affected – especially since numerous areas are currently only just below the 200 mark. Returning travelers are also not yet included in the current figures from the Robert Koch Institute. “We have to assume that these numbers will grow”, emphasized Söder. That is why the federal states only allow private meetings in your own household or with at most one other person.
Bavaria will also keep schools and daycare centers closed until further notice to protect against the virus. There will be no face-to-face teaching, said Söder. Instead, distance learning and emergency care will initially be offered until the end of January. The schools in Bavaria should actually have reopened on January 11th. Söder described the possibility created by the federal government for parents to submit additional sick days with full wages if necessary “as a very strong and important offer”.
“We know how important that is for parents,” said Söder. You also know how important education and qualifications are, but also the liveliness and meeting friends. “But the safety of the pupils and the teachers is the first point to be considered.”
It has been shown that the coronavirus can also be spread in schools and daycare centers. International studies would have shown that. In this context, the main concern is the spread of the new virus form, which had become known in Great Britain and has now also been detected in Germany.
The German health authorities last reported 11,897 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute within one day. In addition, 944 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours.
An interpretation of this data remains difficult because around Christmas and the turn of the year corona cases were discovered, recorded and transmitted with a delay, according to the RKI. According to the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine (ALM), the number of laboratory tests for the coronavirus fell again over the turn of the year compared to Christmas week. Compared to the week before Christmas, the number has roughly halved in the past week.
Söder, however, was concerned about the willingness to vaccinate a good week after the start of vaccination in Germany. “It is not that the vaccination rate is extremely high,” said Söder after initial experience in old people’s and nursing homes. The result is a “differentiated picture” for both residents and nursing staff. He assumes that vaccination against the corona virus will have to be advertised even more than before. In Bavaria, more than 70,000 people were vaccinated against Corona on Tuesday, mainly residents of old people’s and nursing homes and employees in the health and care sector.
Söder again pointed out the problem of travelers returning from risk areas. The Bavarian border police found 1,300 cases at the borders that had to be reported to the health authorities and where follow-up was necessary. The double test strategy now also adopted by the federal government – i.e. testing immediately upon entry and subsequent quarantine, which can only be replaced after five days by a further negative test, could have been introduced earlier, said Söder.
The Bavarian hosts criticized the extension of the lockdown, which also includes the closure of all restaurants and hotels. The fight against corona and an open hospitality industry with hygiene concepts are not in conflict. “We are part of the solution and not part of the problem,” said the association on Tuesday. In view of the ongoing closings, “however, in large parts of the hospitality industry, desperation is rampant”.