Local news translated – Dec 1, 2020

Daily Host Nation Update December 1, 2020

Baden-Württemberg’s current coronavirus ordinance

The state of Baden-Württemberg has issued an amendment to its main coronavirus ordinance CoronaVO, incorporating changes discussed in the Chancellor and Minister President conference held on November 25th. Here is a summary of the restrictions concerning the virus, which go into effect on Tuesday, Dec 2. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 1)

GATHERINGS AND EVENTS: People are urged to keep their personal contacts to a minimum. Gatherings and private events are permitted with members of up to 2 households or when all participants are directly related. In all cases, the size of the group is limited to 5 people, not counting children 14 years old and under. Public events–not serving an entertainment purpose–are allowed for up to 100 participants.

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS FROM 21 TO 27 DEC 20: Gatherings and private events are permitted for up to 10 members of the closest family or circle of friends, not counting children 14 years old and younger. Hotels may provide accommodations to holiday visitors during this period. These rules are conditional on the local infection situation.

RETAIL STORES: Retail stores remain open. Stores with up to 800 sqm of retail space are limited to one customer per 10 sqm. Stores with over 800 sqm are limited to one customer per 10 sqm for the first 800 sqm and then one customer per 20 sqm for the remaining retail space over 800 sqm. Stores with less than 10 sqm of retail space are limited to one customer at a time. Mask wear is mandatory in front of the stores and in parking areas.

RESTAURANTS: Restaurants remain closed except for take-away or delivery service. Canteens (workplace food service) may remain open under current hygiene rules.

WORKPLACE: Telework is encouraged wherever possible. Necessary business meetings are permitted. Mask wear is mandatory in the workplace when the minimum distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained.

Several vaccination centers planned in Stuttgart

Preparations are continuing for the establishment of three vaccination centers in Stuttgart. One of these will probably be located in the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum (KKL) Liederhalle. (Stuttgart West). Two of them are being developed as so-called central vaccination centers, where high-risk patients, medical staff and employees who work at critical locations, such as hospitals, fire departments and police will get vaccinated. In addition to a clinic building of the Robert Bosch Hospital (RBK), it is becoming clear that the city’s clinical center will establish the second central vaccination center in the outbuilding of the Liederhalle. The Hegelsaal with its spacious foyer will be available there. The two central vaccination centers should be ready for operation by mid-December. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 1)

Debates about the corona vaccination

From the beginning, serious discussions about the risks and side effects of any potential virus vaccination have existed. Experts predict about 60 to 80 percent of the population will participate in the vaccination scheme. Professor of Medicine Eva Hummers, who is a member of the Standing Commission on Vaccination, sees two major risks on the horizon: anti-vaccination campaigns on the net and actual side effects from the vaccines. There is still much that is unknown about the side effects of the vaccines. The vaccines have been developed relatively quickly and there has been no time for follow-up observations and findings on the long-term effects. “…things are moving faster than usual; therefore, it is more uncertain than usual,” said Hummer. Health officials are calling for open communication between manufacturer and scientists. Vaccination skeptics should not be insulted and there should not be any mandatory vaccination. Health psychologist Monika Sieverding states, “Anyone who has reservations should not be pushed.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 1)

The city of Nuremberg in lockdown until Dec 20

Bavaria’s second-largest city, Nuremberg, has applied a strict lockdown on residents until December 20th. For the city’s 518,000 inhabitants, leaving home is only allowed for a good reason such as going to work, school, or essential shopping, said Lord Mayor Marcus König at an online press conference. Nuremberg is currently experiencing an incidence value of more than 300 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. (Ntv, December 1)

The country’s health authorities are overwhelmed

Sixty of the 400 public health offices nationwide have reported bottlenecks to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) as of Monday, Nov 30th, RKI spokeswoman Susanne Glasmacher told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. Forty-three offices stated that “the implementation of infection control measures are no longer complete due to capacity bottlenecks.” This includes, among other things, the tracing of contact persons. Another 17 health authorities reported that they would be overloaded in the foreseeable future. (Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, December 1)