Local news translated – Wednesday, April 7

Host Nation Update, Apr 7, 2022

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – Incidence numbers continue to decrease: In two weeks from almost 2000 to 1200
The number of new COVID infections continues to decrease significantly in Baden-Württemberg, according to official data. For two weeks, the seven-day incidence, i.e. the number of registered infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a one-week period, has been falling. It was according to the state health office on Wednesday (as of 16.00 clock) at 1202.1.  This is a decrease of 75.7 compared to the previous day. Two weeks ago, the incidence was 1939.3, and a week ago it was 1638.8.  The number of people who have died from or in connection with the virus rose by 62 to 15 295. Since last Sunday, almost all COVID protection measures have been lifted in Baden-Württemberg, as in most other federal states. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 7)

Mandatory Isolation – Lauterbach’s U-turn makes Lucha look bad again
Lauterbach quickly rescinded the end of the isolation obligation that had only been agreed with the 16 states the day before. The decision was a mistake, and he is now correcting it, according to Lauterbach.  Among the perplexed is Baden-Württemberg’s Health Minister Manfred Lucha (Greens). He is in trouble anyway because he shared Lauterbach’s now outdated opinion and recently wrote a letter to his federal colleague advocating an end to mandatory isolation and other measures to turn the pandemic into an endemic. This earned Lucha first a rebuke from Minister President Winfried Kretschmann and then calls for his resignation from the SPD and FDP in the state parliament. The fact that all of his state colleagues and Lauterbach thought his course was right made him look better at first. But that lasted only a short time. All of the state ministers can now feel embarrassed about Lauterbach’s uncoordinated turnaround. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 7)

NON-COVID related news:

Stuttgart Airport – Soon there will be flights to the USA again
There is a ray of hope for the Airport Stuttgart; even before the summer season really gets underway with the hoped-for upswing after a pandemic-related permanent low.  The U.S. carrier Delta Airlines has let the company know that it will resume direct flights between Stuttgart and Atlanta, the capital of the U.S. state of Georgia, on October 30 and is already allowing bookings. The aircraft is scheduled to commute six days a week on the route, which had been removed from the flight schedule in spring 2020 due to the partial renovation of the runway, but was then not resumed because of the COVID pandemic.

The airport managers, as well, are expecting a lot from the summer season in other respects: “Now things are really getting going again,” said the new managing director Ulrich Heppe to the press on Wednesday. He added that everything would be done to ensure that operations at the airport would run as smoothly as possible when the season kicks off. Long-term forecasts on passenger numbers are still difficult, he said. At the moment, they expect around six million passengers in the full year 2022, which would be almost double the number in fiscal 2021.  “We are recovering only slowly from the deepest slump in the history of our company,” Schoefer explained. The energy refurbishments of the buildings is planned, but will not be visible until 2025/2026, when the airport will hopefully be back at pre-crisis levels. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Apr 7)

Bad Cannstatt – Germany’s largest Ostergarten (Easter garden) has opened
Olive trees, donkeys and the flair of an oriental market: on Saturday, Germany’s largest Easter garden opened in Stuttgart Bad Cannstatt at Masurenstrasse 31, 70374 Stuttgart. . It can be visited until April 18, but tickets need to be purchased on-line in advance. Adults: 6.80 and lower prices for students and kids. For registering a date/time slot go to : https://www.ostergarten-stuttgart.de or google:”Ostergarten Stuttgart” , then click on “Tickets kaufen” scroll down to the dates, and you will see which slots are still available. More than 15,000 visitors are expected this year, project manager Andreas Munder told the Evangelical Press Service. At “Masurenstrasse” in Bad Cannstatt, the Christian Easter story comes alive on 4,000 square meters.

On a tour through historical settings, children and adults are placed in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem’s Old City, observe the disciples at the Last Supper, and relive Jesus’ inner struggle before his death under a dozen olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Flashes and lighting effects on the cross, a tunnel of emotion, and an elaborate plaster tomb are designed to recreate Jesus’ suffering and death. The walk through the Easter Garden ends with a hip-hop style dance to illustrate the joy of Jesus’ resurrection and new life with him.  The idea of the “Easter garden” is supported by a newly founded association with 30 Christian organizations and ministries from the Stuttgart area are a part of. Around 400 volunteers are involved in the project this year – about 100 of them as actors and dancers.  The goal is to convey the Easter message as easy as possible and to set a sign of unity through the close cooperation of a wide variety of Christians, said Pastor Andreas Schäffer, chairman of the association and the Evangelical Alliance Stuttgart.   Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor Frank Nopper (CDU) and Prelate Gabriele Arnold performed the opening. Visits to the Easter Garden need to be registered on-line first (see info above) The tours are suitable for schoolchildren from the age of six.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 4)