BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – In view of the continuing increase in the number of corona infections, the federal and state governments are sending Germany into the sharpest lockdown since the pandemic began a year ago. From April 1st to 5th inclusive, i.e. from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, public, economic and private life is to be largely shut down in order to break the third wave of the pandemic. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers of the federal states decided on Tuesday night. The lockdown to combat the corona pandemic will be extended to April 18.
Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday are therefore defined once as rest days and associated with extensive contact restrictions. “The principle #WeBleibenZuHause applies for five consecutive days,” says the paper. According to this, the food trade in the narrower sense should only remain open on Holy Saturday. Private gatherings should be limited to your own household and one other household, but no more than five people. Children up to 14 years are not counted. Couples are considered to be one household.
According to the decision, gatherings in public spaces are generally prohibited during this period. 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 believers at Easter. Only vaccination and test centers should remain open.
This was preceded by the most difficult round of negotiations between the Chancellor and the state leaders since the outbreak of the pandemic. Negotiations lasted more than eleven hours – but because of a dispute over so-called “low-contact vacation” in their own state, the big round was interrupted for hours.
Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Palatinate insisted that their citizens should be able to vacation in holiday flats, holiday homes, apartments, caravans and mobile homes, provided they have their own sanitary facilities and organize the meals themselves can be. There is nothing more to be found in the resolution.
According to reports, Chancellor Merkel was dissatisfied with the interruption of the deliberations. You have argued that the measures taken up to that point were not enough to break the infection dynamics. You could not survive in public like this.
In view of the exponential growth in infections, the Chancellor and Prime Minister decided that the emergency brake agreed at the beginning of March must be implemented consistently. From a seven-day incidence of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, the districts should implement further steps. Among other things, exit restrictions, stricter contact restrictions or the obligation to perform daily quick tests in areas where it is difficult to keep your distance or consistently wear a mask are mentioned as possibilities.
For holidaymakers abroad, a general obligation to test before the return flight is to be introduced through an amendment to the Infection Protection Act. It should be made a prerequisite for entering Germany. Even now, travelers who come from “high-incidence areas” with a particularly high number of infections and areas with new virus variants have to show a negative test from departure./sk/DP/zb