Local news translated – Wednesday, Dec 15, 2021

Click here for up-to-date information on current off-post conditions related to COVID regulations.

HN Update, December 15

New quarantine rules as of Wednesday, Dec 15:      

After a positive test: ten days quarantine.
For anyone who tests positive, the isolation period will be 10 days for all.  The date of first detection will be used from now on as the start date for the calculation of 10 days. The onset of symptoms, which was historically used and usually occurs prior to the date of a positive test, is no longer used as the start date, as symptoms similar to COVID may also occur frequently in the winter months due to other respiratory diseases.   

From now on, contact persons must be isolated for a period of 14 days.  In future, persons in isolation can only get out of quarantine when they test on the 7th day onwards. However, a rapid test will then suffice.

People who have tested positive can only be cleared if they have been vaccinated.   The worrying virus variant Omikron cannot be confirmed through free testing possibilities, they only confirm a positive COVID case not which variant.

There will be no changes for schools and daycare centers. This is because it is already the case that five-day testing at schools or re-entry testing at daycare centers is not possible if a virus variant of concern is assumed in the primary case. Therefore, if Omikron occurs in schools or daycare centers, the regular segregation rules for contact persons apply for pupils and daycare center children. . (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 15)

Current data on the corona pandemic – Incidence in Stuttgart below 500 again for the first time
After the seven-day incidence in Stuttgart had exceeded the 500 threshold in recent days, the state capital now reports a value below this mark again for the first time.  If this trend continues and the incidence level now falls below 500 for five days in a row, the curfew currently in place in Stuttgart will be lifted.   

Test Centers in the BB district
there are 125 test centers in the Böblingen district. An overview of the centers can be found on the website at https://www.lrabb.de/start/Aktuelles/testzentren.html. (BB.heute.de Dec 15)

Non-COVID related news:

New year, new rules – this will change in 2022: 

Ban on plastic bags
From January 1, plastic shopping bags can no longer be obtained at German checkouts. It’s about the so-called lightweight plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness between 15 and 50 micrometers, which are the standard bags you get when you go shopping. Particularly sturdy reusable bags and the thin plastic bags found at fruit and vegetable stands, for example, are exempt.

CO2 tax
The CO2 tax will also rise in 2022 to make climate protection more attractive. Instead of 25 cents per ton of carbon dioxide emitted, 30 cents will be due. This will have an impact on fuel prices, among other things – but not as much as at the beginning of 2021. According to calculations by the ADAC, gasoline and diesel are now likely to become more expensive by about one and a half cents each as a result of the CO2 price.

On January 1, electronic prescriptions will become mandatory for doctors’ offices. People with statutory health insurance will then receive a QR code either in their smartphone or printed out. However, the obligation only applies to practices that are technically capable of doing so. So for some, it could take a little longer.

Electronic sick leave
On January 1, electronic certificates of incapacity for work will become mandatory for doctors’ offices. With eAU, sick notes will be transmitted electronically to health insurers. 

Tickets on the train
As of January 1, people on short notice will no longer be able to buy paper tickets on the train from the conductor at Deutsche Bahn. The alternative: a digital ticket that can be booked up to ten minutes after departure on bahn.de or via app.

Cancellation button
In the future, it will be easier to cancel a contract online. As of July 1, so-called continuing obligations will be subject to a cancellation button that consumers can use to get rid of their contracts without having to do a lot of searching and writing letters.

Electrical appliances
Depending on store size and product range, discounters and supermarkets will have to accept old electrical appliances such as electric toothbrushes or cell phones in the future. Stores, for example, must accept small appliances such as a worn-out calculator or an old razor even if they were purchased elsewhere. However, larger appliances such as old televisions can only be handed in if a new appliance is purchased. Online retailers must also take back and recycle e-waste free of charge and without complications.

Anyone who buys a product that later turns out to be defective may have a better chance from 2022. This will be made possible by the expansion of warranty law: The legal presumption that a defect already existed at the time of purchase will be extended from six months to one year.  

(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 15)