All leisure facilities must close: The federal government wants to drastically limit public stays in November – politically

Germany is heading for drastic cuts in public life in the corona pandemic: Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to convince prime ministers of tough measures to prevent loss of control in the face of rapidly increasing corona infections at the switching conference scheduled on Wednesday.

What does the chancellor want?

Given the dramatically increasing number of corona infections, the federal government only wants to allow members of their own household and other households throughout Germany to remain in public. This is binding, violations of these contact restrictions would be penalized by the regulatory authorities, according to a draft federal resolution, available to the Tagesspiegel. Groups of people partying in public places, apartments and private facilities are unacceptable given the dire situation.

In general, the population should be encouraged to “keep contact with other people to an absolute minimum” from 4 November to the end of November. Members of your own household are excluded.

Catering establishments such as bars, clubs, discos, pubs and the like will be closed – with the exception of the delivery and collection of food for consumption at home.
The federal government also wants to ban the offer of tourist accommodation in Germany for almost all of November. Accommodation offers may only be made for necessary purposes. Regulations must apply from November 4 to the end of the month.

Events serving as entertainment should be banned throughout Germany for almost all of November. Theaters, operas and concert halls close from November 4 to the end of the month. This regulation also applies to leisure and amateur sports on and in all public and private sports facilities, swimming pools and fun pools, fitness studios and similar facilities. Trade fairs, cinemas and amusement parks must also close.

Schools and kindergartens must remain open. However, the federal states should take further protective measures in these areas. The retail sector should therefore remain open as a whole, respecting hygiene rules, access control and avoiding queues.

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The chancellery seems to be convinced that the brakes must be short and clear. This is the only way to avoid a long-term lockdown like in the spring, which would have devastating consequences for the economy.

Given the increasing number of infections, Merkel repeatedly appealed to citizens to limit their social contacts and thus slow the spread of the virus.

Merkel’s previous state bans and ordinances don’t go far enough.


A draft proposed resolution, which is being discussed in the SPD-led countries plus Thuringia, and which “Spiegel” has, mentions a “gradual end to public and economic life”. This may be necessary if all other measures are not enough to slow the spread of the virus.

The memorandum for the round of the so-called A countries, which is still in the making phase, states that employment must generally remain possible to avoid far-reaching consequences after the pandemic. For this it is important to keep schools and day-care centers open.

According to the draft, countries should include the following measures in their Covid-19 regulations:

Until November 30, “only people from two households or people from one household and a maximum of two people away from the household may come together in private apartments”. Children up to 12 years of age must be exempted from this.

For family events such as funerals, weddings, baptisms and the like, a maximum of 15 participants may be admitted.

Should that not be enough, the draft outlines a gradual further shutdown of public life in the country. The proposed “series of closures” follows the logic of “reducing extra, unnecessary contacts and starting and ending meetings without announcing a full lockdown with serious economic and social consequences,” the draft said.

It remains to be seen whether a majority of prime ministers will back the proposals on Wednesday. According to reports, some country leaders are going too far with the measures – others are in favor of even stricter rules. As with previous meetings between the Prime Ministers and Merkel about the corona crisis, it will be difficult to find common ground.


North Rhine-Westphalia wants to press for further measures in the deliberations. This is based on a dissertation from the NRW Ministry of Health, which is available with a nltv. A priority for interrupting the current infection development should be “adhering to and implementing existing rules,” the paper said.

Given the current development, further action is inevitable, “but should omit central future areas differently than in spring”.

To achieve this goal, Prime Minister Laschet proposes to severely limit private contacts. He campaigned for “the reintroduction of a stricter restraining order,” he said in Düsseldorf on Tuesday. “We have to drastically reduce our social contacts.”

Most of the new corona infections happened ‘privately’, Laschet justified his claim. Ultimately, several people should only meet when necessary “to maintain public life”.

Laschet pointed out that it was not the political decisions that were decisive, but rather “the behavior of the people”.

Laschet rejected a short, full seven-day lockdown, as requested by some politicians. Such an approach would cause great damage and no one could say for sure whether the situation would actually be better afterwards. “I think slowing down in November is more focused.”

The dissertation also proposes a closure of sports and leisure activities in closed spaces, a ban on contact sports, a ban on events, fairs and congresses, and a ban on “special and annual fairs”. Weekly markets serving food supplies should be exempt from the ban.

Hessian Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) agreed that the Germans would take drastic measures. “The situation is much more dramatic than many think,” said Bouffier of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The prime ministers would make “tough decisions” on Wednesday in their conversation with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).

Bouffier warned that the hospitals would be overloaded. “Our beds are closing,” said the Hessian Prime Minister. “We are pushing all our boundaries today.” Speaking to the Chancellor, Bouffier said, “We will make decisions for Germany that hurts and isn’t pretty.”

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) had previously stated that the deliberations would not be about whether there would be further restrictions, but rather “what will be limited”. Letting go of the pandemic is not an option: “You have to intervene in the system now, otherwise we will get numbers that cannot be checked”, says Kretschmer.

Schleswig-Holstein’s head of government, Daniel Günther (CDU), announced a maximum of 10 participants for all areas – including outdoors – in the next three weeks. These contact restrictions would apply regardless of Wednesday’s results, he stressed.

Schools and nurseries should not be closed if possible

Deputy CDU federal chairman Thomas Strobl calls for a week-long lockdown in Germany if the corona situation worsens.

“If the figures continue to develop like this, then we have to look at measures, for example that we shut everything down once a week, that nothing works from Friday to Sunday during the week,” said the resident of Baden-Württemberg. Home Secretary to the news portal “The Pioneer”.

When asked whether the closure would affect schools, daycare centers and shops, Strobl said, “Everything means everything.” That also means restrictions on border traffic.

Strobl argued that this could bring the infection to a halt. The benefit of this “very, very hard” solution would be the time limit. The CDU politician also stressed that Christmas business and a Christmas time together with the family would be possible again.

Saxony-Anhalt Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff agrees with the public on further restrictions. However, this should be limited in time, says the CDU politician. He hoped that a sensible solution would be found during the deliberations.

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder calls for a transition from local and regional restrictions to combat the pandemic to national measures. Due to the increasing number of hotspots, this threshold is getting closer, says Söder after a cabinet meeting in Munich. He hoped the Prime Minister’s conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday would conclude “not half-hearted measures, but an effective concept”.

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) does not want to support a decision by the federal states on a possible new lockdown. The Prime Minister’s Conference fulfills an important structuring role in dealing with the pandemic. “However, they should not overload this task,” said the left-wing politician.

Ramelow advocates strengthening parliaments in dealing with pandemics. He rejected a procedure in the Prime Minister’s Conference “in which motions for resolutions will be tabled at very short notice” with particularly intrusive measures such as curfews, restraining orders and the imposition of a lockdown to be negotiated and decided.

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