Dehoga state vice-president Birgit Kolb-Binder brought this idea into play. Saliva tests, for example, could be the means that should be available to everyone from March. “We now have to talk about logistical and legal problems,” said Kolb-Binder, who herself runs several hotels on Langeoog.
Important questions are open
Sure, the rush to the islands could be easier to control due to their location and the fact that they are arriving by ferry. But in the current situation can an exception rule apply to them? Which tests are accepted? Who does it? The se questions are obvious and should be answered beforehand. Aurich’s District Administrator Olaf Meinen (independent) also likes Kolb-Binder’s proposal. “We have to see what is possible,” he told NDR 1 Lower Saxony. For him, too, it is clear: “ The relevant questions must be clarified.”
Crisis team leader Scholz: “Interesting idea”
Heiger Scholz, head of the state’s crisis team, calls the idea “interesting”. It fits in with the nationwide tests carried out by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). “You have to see how you ensure that the test results are also valid,” said Scholz NDR 1 Lower Saxony. “In the combination of progressive vaccinations and other test strategies, such ideas would certainly be discussed.
The role of the would then also be discussed Shipping companies.
So many tests impossible for ferry operators
After the advance of Kolb-Binder, not all East Frisian shipping companies are waving their hand. One could imagine building a small test center at the Frisia shipping company, which brings guests to Juist, for example. However, there are more than 1,000 guests on a ferry. It is said that testing them all is definitely not possible.
Difficult situation for island businesses
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) Ostfriesland points out in this discussion that the Easter holiday is vital for the companies. Time is of the essence because the islanders will have to recruit seasonal workers over the next 14 days – and most of them come from Eastern Europe. If the companies cannot open soon, around half of them are threatened with extinction, warns the IHK. This does not only apply to the catering and hotel industry there, but also to businesses on the mainland.
Not an option for the resin
For them, such an opening concept with a negative test is probably difficult to implement. You can’t put a fence around the places, says Jens Lutz, who looks at the situation from another holiday area: He is chairman of the Dehoga Harz. In addition, it is unclear how many vacationers would actually come. And, asks Lutz: what if the number of infections suddenly shot up again?
Politics, lawyers and the hotel industry meet
On Tuesday, the district administrators of the Ostfriesland region, lawyers, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), shipping companies and Dehoga will discuss the topic of Easter holidays in an online conference. However, the seven-day incidence in Lower Saxony and nationwide has recently risen again after a downward trend lasting for weeks.
Because: Too early to commit
Politicians were cautious in the last week of the infection situation: Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) considers it premature to decide on the topic of Easter leave. “We have to wait and see how the incidences in Germany and also the so-called R-value, i.e. the average number of people infected by an infected person, will develop.” In addition, it is not yet clear how quickly and how intensely the virus mutations will spread. “As much as I would like to give orientation to those interested in a trip and to the accommodation industry – unfortunately, definitive statements are not yet possible.”
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