Germany lockdown extension: Yesterday’s conference by Angela Merkel with the prime ministers of 16 federal states on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Germany lasted 9 hours. Lockdown has been extended to March 28. First loosening from March 8.
After the conference, Angela Merkel spoke of “entering a new phase of the epidemic with reasonable hopes.” Now it is mainly about “wise taking further steps towards opening up (the economy)” – she emphasised. “Spring 2021 will be different from spring one year ago.” It’s because of vaccines and tests. “Vaccinations are the way out of the pandemic,” remarked Merkel.
The Chancellor emphasised that a lot had been achieved in the last few months. “What we went through together was difficult,” she said. But it was also effective because ICU overload was avoided, the spread of the virus was stopped and mass unemployment was prevented.
The lockdown in Germany has been extended until March 28, but there are plans to ease some restrictions next week.
Here’s what’s changing:
► As of March 8, private meetings in one household with members of another family will be possible again, but the number of participants has been limited to five, in addition to children up to the age of 14. If the number of infections continues to decline, even more contacts with other people will be allowed over time, it was reported Wednesday after the federal and union government meeting.
► Horticultural fairs, florists and bookstores may also reopen nationwide from March 8, but under strict conditions. They concern compliance with the rules of hygiene and social distancing: a rule has been introduced that there should be ten square meters per customer for the first 800 square meters of sales area. There is one additional customer for each additional 20 square meters of sales area, it has been agreed. We remind you that in some Länder they are already open. Read HERE .
► One free test per week should be available to all German residents from March 8.
Another gradual openings
Limited possibilities of easing the restrictions may be used in regions where the incidence will remain below the 7-day threshold of 100 new infections per 100,000. residents.
At this stage, the principle of advance appointment for retail purchases, visits to museums, galleries, zoos and botanical gardens and visits to memorial sites is to apply. It is also allowed to play outdoor sports – alone or in pairs, as well as team sports in groups of up to ten children up to the age of 14.
If the seven-day incidence rate were kept steadily below 50 new infections per 100,000, these requirements would be lifted or modified. At this stage, it would be possible to practice the sport in small groups outdoors, provided that it does not involve physical contact between the participants.
The next steps to come out of lockdown will depend on whether the previous stage did not lead to a deterioration of the seven-day maturity within 14 days – emphasized the German government chancellor.
In order to accelerate the vaccination campaign, which is too slow in the opinion of the authorities, all GPs and specialists will be directly – and more intensively than before – involved in the process by early April at the latest.
The time interval between the first and second vaccination dates must also be “optimally used,” said Merkel. “This means we will be able to vaccinate more people more quickly.”
The regulation adopted on Wednesday includes a so-called emergency brake, which may suspend the easing process. If the seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants increases to over 100 in the three consecutive days after March 28, the stricter regulations that are still in force (until Sunday-PAP) will automatically enter into force. This means that private meetings will once again be limited to your own household and to one other person outside your household.
source: Deutsche Welle, PAP, Polskiobserwator.de