In view of the drastically increasing number of corona infections, the federal and state governments are sending all of Germany into the sharpest lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago.
This was decided by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Ministers of the federal states in an eleven hour marathon session on Tuesday night.
An overview of the key lockdown decisions:
- The particularly sharp “rest break” lockdown announced for Easter has been stopped. Of the Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday will not be defined as rest days.
- Private meetings During the “rest break” you should limit yourself to your own household and one other household, but to a maximum of five people. Children up to 14 years are not counted. Couples with separate apartments are considered to be one household.
- Gatherings in public spaces are generally prohibited during the “rest break” period, according to the decision. Where outside catering is already open, it has to be closed again for these five days. Churches and religious communities are asked to only make online offers for the faithful at Easter. Only vaccination and test centers should remain open.
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- The existing lockdown rules will be extended until April 18th. This continues to apply the emergency brake decided at the beginning of March, which is said to take effect at a seven-day incidence of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The districts should also take further measures if the threshold is exceeded. Among other things, exit restrictions, stricter contact restrictions and the obligation to perform daily quick tests in areas where it is difficult to keep your distance or consistently wearing a mask are named as possibilities.
- Refraining from traveling: “The federal and state governments continue to urge all citizens to to refrain from travel that is not absolutely necessary in Germany and abroad“, It says in the decision. But the heads of government did not stop at appeals: the federal and state governments expect the airlines to have corona tests before their return flight. In addition, in the Infection Protection Act, a “General compulsory test before departure for entry requirements for flights to Germany ”.
- Inland tourism will not be possible during the Easter holidays either. Hotels and other accommodation providers should remain closed to vacationers. This point caused a lot of trouble in the deliberations. Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Palatinate insisted that their citizens should be able to vacation in holiday apartments, holiday homes, apartments, caravans and mobile homes, provided they have their own sanitary facilities and organize the meals themselves can be. Nothing more can be found in the resolution.
- The tough measures should be accompanied by more tests. The federal and state governments want Expand corona tests for schoolchildren, teachers and daycare workers and strive for “two tests per week as soon as possible”. The distribution and organization varies from region to region, and practical implementation is still being discussed in many places – for example the question of whether the tests should take place at home or at school. The federal and state governments have not made any specific agreements on the organization of the further operation of schools and daycare centers, for example on possible closings or other restrictions. The federal states continue to regulate these questions on their own.
- The federal and state governments are again calling on companies to recruit their employees to enable work from home. In addition, the companies should expand their test offers. Employees who do not work from home should be able to have themselves tested twice a week if possible.
- Those hardest hit by the closings Companies should get further help. According to the resolution, the federal government will “develop a supplementary aid instrument within the framework of European law”.
The Bund-Länder-Round counted among the most difficult since the beginning of the pandemic. According to reports, Chancellor Merkel has meanwhile been very dissatisfied with the way things have gone. The big round was interrupted for hours and negotiated in small groups.
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Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) spoke of a “difficult birth” after the deliberations. Also the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder called the negotiations difficult, but also praised the clear course that had been found.
“We know that Corona is heavy as lead over the country,” he said. But it is now up to you to end the third wave faster than the previous one. “Impatience must not become our weakness,” warned the CSU chairman. (with agencies)
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Lockdown resolutions glance Easter rest table travel waiver contact restrictions remain politics