Berlin (dpa) – It’s a busy weekend for the heads of state chancellery of the federal states: they are joining forces on several occasions in different groups to discuss how to proceed in the corona pandemic.
On Monday, their bosses want to castigate the submission of federal states to Wednesday’s deliberations with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) – so that it does not prove to be as conflict-prone as the week before.
It is already becoming clear that an extension of the partial lockdown by two to three weeks is very likely. Federal and multi-state politicians see no other way, Christian Democrats and Social Democrats alike.
“We agree that a lot has already been accomplished, but not enough. Exponential growth has been slowed down, but the number of infections is still too high, ”Berlin Mayor Michael Müller told the German press agency on Sunday. “In this context, it is currently inconceivable that we can now repeal the measures previously agreed”, underlined the president of the conference of the first ministers. “How long we need to extend and how exactly we should shape it are currently being discussed among us. We’re on the right track, so we’ll have a resolution drafted by Wednesday, which the federal and state governments will discuss together again. “
Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) told “Bild am Sonntag”: “If we break the blockage at this high level of infection and lose our patience, then it all starts again and we end up with even tougher measures than now. in the Czech Republic or Austria. And: “Better a longer lockout than a full exit restriction during Christmas.”
THE SITUATION PRESENTS:
Since the beginning of November, all leisure and culture offers across Germany have been suspended, bars, cafes and restaurants are closed. Partial foreclosure should initially apply until the end of the month. After a rapid increase in October and early November, the number of new infections stabilized at a high level. The hoped-for decline after the partial lockdown took effect cannot be clearly seen, as Sunday figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) show.
On Sunday, the RKI reported 15,741 cases that were reported by health authorities within 24 hours. As of Sunday a week ago, the number was 16,947. The peak was reached on Friday with 23,648 cases. According to data from the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, the number of corona patients in the intensive care unit continues to increase, but less recently.
EU states are therefore calling for an extension of Corona restrictions until at least Christmas, as reported by ‘Bild’ (online) at a preliminary meeting of EU-led federal states ahead of the next state meeting. federal.
What does it mean …?
FOR THE NEXT WEEKS: Without extension, restrictions are expected to expire at the end of November. How long they should last beyond that doesn’t seem clear. “In any case, two weeks or better three weeks,” says Söder. It would be until shortly before Christmas. The business magazine “Business Insider” named the date December 20, citing groups of countries.
According to “Bild”, EU countries agree that contact restrictions should be relaxed at least during the Christmas holidays. According to “Bild am Sonntag”, the countries ruled by the SPD also want easing for the holiday season. Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) told the newspaper: “Christmas and New Year’s Eve people should be able to meet their loved ones”. Earlier, the head of the chancellery, Helge Braun, told the Germany news channel (RND / Saturday): “I can not imagine that my grandparents do not celebrate at Christmas”.
In a Forsa survey on behalf of the Kaufmännische Krankenkasse (KKH), 41% of some 1,000 people polled expressed concern that they would have to celebrate the festival in small groups or alone due to the pandemic. CDU presidential candidate Friedrich Merz told “Tagesspiegel”: “You can say in mid-November that Christmas can take place with the family”.
FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE:
Söder says Christmas should be “freer”, “but New Years Eve should be more consistent”. For New Year’s Eve, he would like a ban on firecrackers and alcohol in the great outdoors. “But there is no need for a blanket ban on firecrackers.”
Länder education ministers insist they remain open in principle, but plead for exceptions, according to information from the news portal “ThePioneer” (Saturday) and the German press agency. Particularly affected schools from grade 11 onwards in sensitive areas with a high number of infections should be able to switch to “classroom teaching” in small study groups, according to a decision made on Friday. ie a change in learning at school and at home. Secondly, this is also planned for the lower grades of secondary schools. In all cases, the final classes must stay in school. The countries of the Union want something similar: in Corona hotspots with an impact of seven days over 200, there should be lessons of change from the 7th grade.
“Truly interrupting chains of infection and at the same time staying practical is the task,” Spahn told RND (Monday). Specifically, he suggested that in the event of infection, the affected class be immediately sent to home isolation. So far, this has not been the case in some cases or only in people sitting next to the infected person. “After negative rapid tests on the fifth day, the students were able to return to school,” Spahn said.
The previous attitude of the federal states that schools are generally not a driver of the pandemic is “no longer tenable”, said the director of the University Virological Institute in Düsseldorf, Jörg Timm, of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung “. Smaller children are less likely to be infected with the virus, but they could pass it on. Children from the age of twelve are “just as contagious as adults”.
According to the will of the education ministers, there should be more tests in schools particularly affected by Corona. Once a vaccine has been approved, school staff should receive a vaccination offer as a priority.
FOR INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES:
According to the will of the countries of the Union, according to “Bild”, countries and districts with less than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants should have the possibility of suspending corona measurements within seven days (“opt-out rule “). Currently only Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and around two dozen districts could benefit from it.
Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to continue paying aid to companies that have to close due to corona restrictions, possibly in December. “If the restrictions are extended, it is clear to me that financial support from the sectors directly affected will then also continue to be necessary”, said Scholz of “Bild am Sonntag”.