The hard stop
“Further openings make no sense in view of the increasing number of infections. The emergency brake must apply to everyone, and consistently, «said Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). Bavaria has already canceled planned easing in the Free State. According to the Bavarian State Office for Public Health, the incidence is 104 – above the threshold of 100.
Hamburg has already pulled the emergency brake. On Friday the incidence had risen to 108.6 cases per 100,000 population. The incidence was already over 100 on Wednesday and Thursday. For Hamburg, this means that instead of “Click & Meet”, only “Click & Collect” is possible in retail. Private contacts must again be limited to one person outside the household, but children up to 14 years of age are not included. “I fear that the situation will continue to deteriorate,” said Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD).
The subliminal ones
Despite the increasing numbers: Several federal states are still below the threshold of 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. Still, they don’t want to open.
In Schleswig-Holstein the incidence is lowest with a national average of 58. Nevertheless, the outdoor catering in the north will remain closed for the time being. “We cannot make any decisions before the Prime Minister’s Conference,” said Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU). “We have to continue to be careful in this situation.” In circles with particularly high incidences such as Pinneberg or for the cities of Neumünster and Flensburg, customers have to book appointments from Monday if they want to go shopping.
According to the RKI, the incidence in Saarland fell slightly on Saturday, from 64.4 to 59. This means that Saarland would not have to pull the emergency brake for the time being. Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU), however, is concerned about the continued high numbers in French border regions. The Saarland should now get more vaccine for these hotspots, the federal and state governments agreed on this during the vaccination summit on Friday. Bavaria, Saxony, Thuringia and Rhineland-Palatinate will also receive more vaccine. (Read more about this here.)
Bremen also remains on the emergency brake course. Shops that are not part of the daily needs are only allowed to open with an appointment – and only as long as the incidence remains stable below 100. According to RKI statistics, it is currently 97. Bremen may have to pull the emergency brake soon.
Lower Saxony is still below the limit of 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants on the national average, but the first regions are already flirting with openings, even if the number of new infections is higher. Example Osnabrück: The city wants to reopen retail stores and zoos – with an extensive test strategy.
Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) promised corresponding experimentation clauses. According to this, shops in model municipalities could reopen from the end of March. People might then have access to so-called safe zones if they can present a negative test. “We can do that very quickly. The topic has a high priority for us, «said Weil, according to NDR. A final decision should only be made after the federal and state conference on Monday. It is unclear whether Osnabrück can be considered as a model region. The number of reported new infections is particularly high there.
On Friday, the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) Lüneburg also conceded three corona rules in Lower Saxony. Zoos and animal parks are therefore allowed to reopen even if the incidence is over 100. The court also suspended the limit of five people over the age of 14 at private meetings. A maximum of two households are still allowed, but there is no upper limit to the number of people.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, outdoor catering is to reopen in many regions from Monday, but a negative rapid test is a prerequisite. The nationwide incidence last averaged 73.9. With the openings, the state is adhering to the agreed step-by-step plan, which provides for easing in the catering industry from March 22 at the earliest, if the incidence remains below 100. If the border is crossed, the emergency brake should be pulled, promised Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD). There should be no further opening steps initially.
Brandenburg had initially not written the agreed emergency brake in the Corona regulation and thus caused criticism. A binding return to the restrictions should essentially only occur from an incidence of 200. Now the state government is rowing back. Circles that surpass the 100 mark have to accept easing again. “We want to break the infection dynamics in these districts,” said Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD).
Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU), on the other hand, clearly positioned himself on Thursday for further openings: The numbers rose, but can be explained, said Haseloff. There is no connection between the increasing numbers and the opening steps, for example in retail.
Haseloff even went one step further and advocated tackling the next level of corona easing as planned and opening at least holiday apartments in their own state before Easter. Haseloff could also envisage opening outdoor restaurants under certain conditions. According to the RKI, the incidence in Saxony-Anhalt is currently 119.
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Corona federal states consistent emergency brake hesitant