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Corona summit resolutions: Germany returns to partial lockdown – politics

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime minister decided on Wednesday to make substantial cuts for citizens and companies in the coronavirus pandemic. From 1 p.m., Merkel and the country leaders were linked by video conference to discuss how to proceed in view of the significantly increasing number of infections.

On Wednesday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported a maximum number of new infections of almost 15,000. The risk of an infection situation that is no longer manageable is increasing day by day, as the number of infections is currently almost doubling every week.

One thing is clear: the lockdown measures decided today should apply from Monday, November 2, until the end of the month. The federal government announced a decision at the start of the round: Finance Minister Olaf Scholz wants to provide additional financial support to companies that lose money as a result of the new lockdown. Seven to ten billion euros is being earmarked for this.

Merkel had previously made it clear that she did not think the existing measures were sufficient, that the corona situation could get out of hand and the intensive care units of the clinics could then collapse.

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At a press conference after the video switch, Merkel spoke of an “exponential increase” in the number of infections. The deliberations had taken place “in a very serious situation”. Federal and state governments have an eye for people’s health, work and economic situation. “It is perfectly clear that we have to act, and now.” She spoke of a “nationwide effort” that will be needed again from November 2 to curb the increase in the number of infections. “That is why today is a difficult day, also for political decision-makers, I want to say that explicitly because we know what we expect from people.”

Despite the very different contagion situations in the federal states, all prime ministers support the decisions, Merkel said. Full agreement had not been reached recently at the Prime Minister’s most recent conferences with the Chancellor.

An overview of the decisions:

CONTACT RESTRICTIONS

In her video podcast on Saturday, Merkel once again made it clear how important she thinks it is that German citizens drastically reduce their social contacts. As reported by various media outlets, the group agreed on this in the afternoon. According to this, a maximum of ten people from two households are allowed to meet outside from Monday. This is binding, violations of these contact restrictions would be punished by the regulatory authorities.

Experts believe that the number of new infections every day should be reduced to 4,000 to avoid a dramatic increase in the number of Covid-19 deaths. This requires a reduction in the number of contacts by 50 to 75 percent over a period of several weeks in order to achieve a significant trend break in December.

SCHOOLS AND KITAS

Schools and kindergartens must remain reliably open despite the sharp rise in corona figures in November, the round concluded, according to the dpa. Closures should only be a “last resort”, according to the motion for a resolution. However, these measures have been in effect regionally since the end of the summer holidays.

Nursing homes

In the pandemic, the elderly are seen as a particularly vulnerable group to serious illnesses requiring hospitalization. In the first wave in the spring, many nursing and retirement homes with strict visitor restrictions have been closed to protect residents from corona infections.

The federal and state governments want to protect the sick, the dependent, the elderly, and the disabled in particular. The available corona rapid tests “should now be deployed rapidly and with priority in this area” so that safe contacts could be made possible. The federal and state governments have agreed on this according to information from the DPA. The special protection of hospitals, nursing homes, seniors and disabled facilities must not lead to complete social isolation. Social welfare and youth care institutions and comparable advisory institutions must remain open.

GASTRONOMY

Federal and state governments want to shut down restaurant businesses for the rest of the month starting Nov. 2 to contain the pandemic. The German news agency learned this from the consultations. This does not apply to the delivery and collection of meals for consumption at home, canteens may remain open.

This is a very controversial point. Before the round, not all country leaders were convinced this was necessary. In addition, according to information from “Bild”, the RKI gave its estimate of the corona risk of gastronomy on Tuesday at a video switch with chancellor chief Helge Braun (CDU) and the heads of state chancellery of the federal states. Accordingly, restaurants are not the driving forces behind the pandemic.

[„Wir befinden uns nicht im Ausnahmezustand“, sagt der Verfassungsrechtler Oliver Lepsius. Lesen Sie hier ein Gespräch über die Rechtmäßigkeit der deutschen Corona-Politik.]

LEISURE

Due to the corona crisis, federal and state governments are looking to largely ban entertainment and leisure events across Germany in November. Theaters, operas and concert halls are closed from November 2 to the end of the month. The German news agency learned this from the consultations. The regulation also affects leisure and amateur sports; individual sports should be excluded. shall. Professional sports may only be allowed in November without spectators. This also applies to the Bundesliga.

SERVICES

Companies in the personal care sector such as cosmetic studios, massage practices or tattoo studios will also have to close in November, the dpa reports. Medically necessary treatments such as physiotherapy should also remain possible. Medically necessary treatments, such as physiotherapy, are still possible. Unlike in the spring, hairdressing salons must also remain open under existing hygiene regulations.

TRADE

Wholesale and retail can remain open in November. However, as the dpa reports, there is an agreement that no more than one customer per ten square meters is allowed in the stores. The federal government’s motion originally spoke of 25 square meters.

TO TRAVEL

According to the will of the round, the provision of tourist accommodation in Germany will be banned in November. These should only be made for necessary purposes, such as mandatory business trips, decided according to information from the German news agency.

So far, the federal and state governments seem to agree on this: unlike in the spring, the borders must remain as open as possible, even though the extremely high numbers in the neighboring Czech Republic in Bavaria, in particular, are causing great nervousness.

A REMUNERATION

Federal Treasury Secretary Olaf Scholz is providing billions in compensation for lost sales by businesses facing restrictions, according to a “Bild” report. In deliberations of the federal and state governments, Scholz suggested smaller companies replace up to 75 percent of their sales compared to the same month last year. Larger companies should receive up to 70 percent. There should be no special obligation to provide evidence.

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