Host Nation Update, Apr 4, 2022
Baden-Württemberg – Masks and 3G rules have been dropped almost everywhere on Sunday (April 3)
After more than two years of the COVID pandemic, almost all protective measures have been dropped as of Sunday (April 3, 2022). Mandatory masks and access rules such as “3G” will be a thing of the past almost everywhere. Only in buses and trains, nursing homes and hospitals will mouth-nose protection will still be required.
At the same time, normality will return to schools. Employers will decide what applies in offices and factories. Although the state government of the Greens and CDU has long resisted the far-reaching relaxations, they are now implementing the federal regulations with the new COVID Ordinance. The coalition parties in Berlin, mainly at the instigation of the FDP, had changed the Infection Protection Act in such a way that hardly any requirements are left. The background to this is that the Omicron variant is milder and hospitals are not heavily burdened by COVID patients. Contact restrictions for private meetings and capacity limits for public events had already been dropped two weeks ago. Now, after a transition period, most other requirements have been dropped, as well. Last week, the number of new infections had dropped significantly, with the 7-day incidence falling from nearly 1870 to about 1520. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 3)
Schools in Baden-Württemberg – The first day of school without mandatory masks
As of Monday (April 4, 2022), the mask obligation has dropped in schools in B-W֕. “Regardless of this, however, it is basically up to each person to wear or not to wear it. Anyone who wants to wear it voluntarily can, of course, continue to do so,” informed the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Culture. However, this is now primarily a question of personal responsibility, the ministry said.
Testing requirements and other safety measures, including ventilation and hygiene plans, still apply. The GEW education union is skeptical. “Currently, hundreds of teachers are falling ill every day and staff shortages are high even without absences. With the elimination of COVID protections, this will increase.” Other than in retail, schools cannot mandate mask wearing. According to the ministry, state interventions in the fundamental rights of citizens need a law enabling ordinance, for example the COVID ordinance act. Leaders of the Green Party and the CDU in Baden-Württemberg, meanwhile, have apparently agreed that mandatory testing will also be dropped after the end of Easter vacations. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 4)
Non-COVID related news:
Spring in Baden-Württemberg – When the thermometer will rise above 20 degrees again
After a wintry weekend, a lot of wind and rain can be expected in the next few days. For Wednesday and Thursday, even gale-force winds are possible on the Black Forest peaks. Strong to gale-force gusts may also occur in the mountainous regions.
For Tuesday night, temperatures may drop to minus one degree, in high-altitude areas slippery snow is to be expected. The following nights should see values between three and eight degrees. Daytime temperatures will rise to comfortable highs of up to 15 degrees by Thursday. From next week, spring will make an appearance. Temperatures are expected to rise above 20 degrees and rainfall will decrease. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 4)
Return of the popular Stuttgart wine village festival
At the wine village from August 17 to September 4, the return of the traditional and popular festival will be celebrated with 122 wine stands. “There will be six fewer than last time,” says Bärbel Mohrmann, executive director of Pro Stuttgart, “because the upper part of the market square cannot be used due to reconstruction.” On Monday, Mohrmann plans to present the plans to City Hall. She is looking forward to new innkeepers who would ensure that the “high quality of the wine village” is maintained or will be expanded even further. The Diehl winery from Rotenberg is a newcomer, which together with the Weller catering company and with the landlady Birgit Grupp, who has been involved in the wine festival for many years with the Stadtbesen, forms the “Stadtlaube”. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 4)
Hanover, three months in Bremen. Andreas Rudlof, head of Stuttgart Airport’s fire protection and hazard prevention department emphasizes the importance: “Gaining practical experience with real fire is more emphatic than many theory courses.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 30)