Local news translated, August 6

Daily Host Nation Stories – August 6, 2020

Modification of Corona rules and regulations for Baden-Württemberg

The Corona crisis in Baden-Württemberg is far from over. However, since the number of new infections is low, the State of BW has decided to further ease on corona rules. Here is an overview of the current rules as of Aug 1:

  • Meeting in public: 20 people from several households may meet in public.
  • Weekly markets: Masks are mandatory when visiting indoor markets; and for outdoor markets when social distancing is not possible.
  • Private events: At private events, there are no numerical restrictions if all persons are related to each other.
  • Opening of schools: Following the summer holidays, pupils will be returning to school if the infection rate remains low. Day-care facilities will also be open again.
  • Masks will be mandatory at secondary schools: At secondary schools, vocational schools and special education and counseling centers, it will be mandatory for wearing masks after the summer holidays. However, this does not apply during class, but mainly in the corridors, playgrounds, stairwells and toilets. The State Government had already announced the measure in June.
  • Events: Public meetings, congresses, trade fairs and smaller sporting events with up to 500 people are authorized.
  • As of September 1, trade fairs with more than 500 people will also be authorized to reopen. However, major events such as public festivals, where hygiene measures cannot be enforced, will remain prohibited until the end of October.
  • Hotels, holiday flats, camping sites can reopen.
  • Demonstrations: Meetings are authorized, however, with conditions to ensure infection control, for example, intervals or maximum number of participants.

(South-West Press; swp.de, Aug 6)

Students from Göppingen infected with Corona

STUTTGART: Nine students who traveled to Croatia following their final examinations have tested positive for the corona virus reports the district office of Göppingen. Further test results are still pending. The trip was organized nationwide by a party tour operator based in Hamburg. According to current information, there are also infected participants in other districts and states. Travelers are becoming less vigilant against the virus and statistics show that every fifth person infected with COVID19, has been infected abroad. Kosovo has recently been the focus of particular attention. However, the levels in neighboring countries also remain high. The number of people infected with the corona virus abroad continues to rise in Germany. According to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), one in five infected people have brought the virus from a trip. In the past four weeks, almost 1,900 people were suspected to have contracted the virus abroad. The RKI also lists the countries from which a particularly large number of infected persons have traveled. The majority of the infections took place in the Balkans. Initially, there was a particularly high number of infected persons among those returning from Serbia. Recently, however, the number of infected travelers from Kosovo has risen dramatically. Re-entrants from Kosovo have to go into home quarantine for 14 days. The Federal Foreign Office also warns against traveling to the country.

The city of Stuttgart is being vigilant in enforcing corona rules and has already initiated more than 100 fine proceedings against trespassers who have violated the mask obligation on public transportation. The fine is usually 30 euros, which is at the lower end of the Corona penal catalogue. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 6)  

Military withdrawal may be an opportunity for local housing

STUTTGART Discarded military sites may be an unique opportunity to local municipalities to plan their future. This is the conclusion drawn by the Federal Agency for Real Estate (Bima), which manages all areas that are no longer used for military purposes. The 187-hectare site in Stuttgart, which is utilized by U.S. Forces, would also revert to the Bima. In order to cushion the losses associated with a withdrawal, the local authorities have the initial access option.

In Ludwigsburg, for example, the last U.S. unit stationed there was bid farewell in March of 1993. Thanks to the end of the Cold War, Ludwigsburg’s time as a garrison city was over forever. And, indeed, Ludwigsburg changed so much after the departure of the military that even the locals did not recognize their city, in a thoroughly positive sense.  There now was creation of a lot of new living space on the approximately 70 hectares of military land. In the former soldiers’ settlement of “Pattonville” alone, between the neighboring towns of Kornwestheim and Remseck, there are now apartments for 8,000 locals. Very close to Möhringen and Vaihingen, in Ostfildern, for example, a new district was created after the Americans moved out of the Nellingen Barracks in 1992. On the 140 hectares of the Scharnhauser Park, living space for 8,000 people and 2,000 jobs were created, and a place for the annual fireworks festival “Flammende Sterne”. A few kilometers further northeast, in Esslingen, the last of around 800 residential units are currently being built on the last wasteland of the former “Becelaere” barracks.

And, of course there are sources of inspiration in Stuttgart itself: the Burgholzhof and the Römerkastell. The new Burgholzhof district in the north of Stuttgart with space for 3,000 inhabitants was able to grow after the Americans abandoned the southern part of Robinson Barracks in 1993. Redevelopment is not a quick process. The conversion and redevelopment of the 187 hectares of land that comprise of Patch and Kelley Barracks would take years. U.S. forces moved out of their European Headquarters, Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg in 2013, and it took until 2019 before the first local residents moved into the new houses in the southern part of the city. Final redevelopment will take until at least 2023.

The same example in Böblingen: In 1992, the Americans gave up the repair shop for their vehicles that they maintained at the former air base, and it was not until 2006 that Sindelfingen and Böblingen began to develop the 80-hectare site. The Flugfeld commercial and residential area will not be completed until 2031. Even in the transformation-experienced Ludwigsburg, not everything happened overnight. The redevelopment of the last remaining unused barracks into a new residential area only began a few months ago. Therefore, it will take time for the local authorities to develop concepts for the areas; for any legacies to be removed, and for negotiations to be concluded with the Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben (Bima), which will regain ownership of all vacated military sites first. Unless Bima itself has a need like in Heidelberg: On the 100-hectare former soldiers’ housing estate on the outskirts of Heidelberg, the city and the authorities are jointly developing a state-of-the-art district for up to 10,000 residents and for 5,000 jobs. The idea is still young, and there is no timetable. “A redevelopment can be a huge opportunity,” says Claus-Peter Rehwald, who has sold many military sites for Bima. However, the federal authorities are also aware of the fact of vanishing of well established structures and the loss of a lot of purchasing power (by the U.S. forces). To compensate for the loss, the municipalities are given the initial access option to the land, so they do not have to engage in a price war with other interested parties. With a huge area, which would normally never have been available, the cities and municipalities can plan their future, says Rehwald. For the time being, however, this possibility still remains “only dreams of the future.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 6).