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Host Nation Update, December 27
Restrictions on gastronomy, contact restrictions and 2G-Plus: New Corona rules in BW as of today.
Meetings with a maximum of ten people, a nighttime closure of gastronomy: the government in Baden-Württemberg is tightening up on the Corona rules. This applies as of December 27:
- Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) had already pointed several times to the risk of infection in catering establishments. Now there will be a curfew from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the currently applicable “Alarm Level II”. On the night from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day, the curfew is not to begin until 1 a.m., according to the announcement. Private gatherings in catering establishments would be subject to private contact restriction regulations, the state ministry said.
- But the state government is also tightening up on private gatherings. Meetings among vaccinated and recovered persons may take place starting from 27 December inside only with no more than ten persons. Outdoors an upper limit with 50 persons applies. Previously, private meetings were allowed with 50 people inside and 200 outside. For meetings attended by at least one unvaccinated person, only one household may meet with two people from another household, according to the state ministry. Children and adolescents up to and including age 13 would not be counted in any constellation, regardless of their vaccination status.
- Vaccinated and recovered persons are exempt from the testing requirement in the 2G-Plus scheme in Baden-Württemberg under certain conditions. Stricter regulations will apply here as well. Vaccinated persons will only be exempt from an additional test if the complete vaccination was completed no more than three months ago. Even for those who have recovered, the infection may not have occurred more than three months ago, according to the announcement. People who have received a booster vaccination are also exempt. Groups for which there is no booster recommendation from the Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) to date, such as vaccinated adolescents under 18, are also exempt from the requirement.
The state also suggests higher-level mask protection in Alarm Level II conditions. According to the new regulation, people over the age of 18 are recommended to wear an FFP2 mask indoors where masks are mandatory. A comparable mask, such as a KN95, N95, KF94 or KF95 mask would also be an option.(Swr, December 27)
Several states tighten corona rules
Stricter Corona regulations will take effect in several states effective this Monday. Private and public social contacts will be further restricted, especially to guard against the highly contagious Omicron variant. Some federal states had already started with this at Christmas, others are now following suit. From Monday, stricter rules will apply in Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Other states will follow on Tuesday. The federal and state governments had agreed on these measures.(NTV, December 27)
Number of omicron cases in Baden-Württemberg increases sixfold within one week
According to the State Health Office (LGA) in Stuttgart on Sunday, 855 cases of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) have been transmitted to the authority from Baden-Württemberg so far – 57 more than the previous day. A week ago, there were 136 cases. The Omicron cases reported daily by the LGA are both suspected cases and infections confirmed by whole genome analysis. The agency does not provide information on the proportion of current suspected cases. If the numbers continued to rise at this rate, there would be more than 30,000 Omicron cases in two weeks in Baden-Württemberg alone.
The seven-day incidence in Baden-Württemberg has again dropped slightly. According to the state health office, the figure is 222.0 (as of 2 p.m.). The previous day, the incidence was still reported at 228.4. There were 1,123 new corona infections reported. There were seven additional Corona-related deaths.
Even though the number of new Corona infections in Baden-Württemberg is currently decreasing, the state government is concerned about the Omicron variant. After Christmas, the Corona rules will therefore be tightened – also to avoid large parties on New Year’s Eve. This was communicated by the State Ministry on Thursday evening. From December 27, therefore, stricter rules apply.(Swr, December 27)
Around 100,000 vaccinations administered over Christmas holidays
The vaccination campaign does not pause over the Christmas holidays, but it slows down significantly. A total of 35,187 vaccine doses were administered on Christmas Day, and 65,204 on Boxing Day (Dec. 26), bringing the simple vaccination rate to 73.9 percent, up from 73.8 percent recently. The vaccination rate of the fully vaccinated (second vaccination) remains unchanged in percentage terms at 70.8 percent. (Ntv, December 27)
Non-COVID related news:
New regulation on the cancellation of cellular phone contracts
The new law came into force on December 1, 2021. However, the monthly notice period for cell phone contracts does not apply until the minimum contract term has expired. Until then, the contractually agreed regulations on termination and cancellation of the cell phone contract continue to apply.
The new cancellation notice applies after the end of the minimum contract term even for contracts concluded before Dec. 1, 2021, according to the consumer advice center. An old contract that has already run beyond the minimum contract period can therefore be terminated with a monthly notice period. The termination would then take effect exactly one month after the mobile provider receives the notice. The consumer advice center advises writing “as of the next possible date” in the notice of termination.
Another new aspect is that mobile communications providers must now inform their customers of the end of the minimum contract term in a timely manner so that they have enough time to terminate the contract.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, December 26)
Don’t just toss away old cell phones and smartphones
Böblingen District. This year, the Böblingen SPD member of the state parliament, Florian Wahl, is once again launching a cell phone collection campaign. In his office, he will be accepting old mobile devices, which he will then hand over to Deutsche Telekom or the German environmental aid organization for proper recycling. “Many people use the time between the years in particular to tidy up their own homes,” says Florian Wahl in his appeal. “If an old cell phone or smartphone turns up somewhere in the process and you can still do something good for our environment with it – without effort or cost – you should seize this opportunity.”
In German drawers, 124 million cell phones are stored completely unused. According to estimates, these devices contain 2.9 tons of gold, 30 tons of silver and 1100 tons of copper that could be recycled – plus pollutants that would have to be treated in an environmentally friendly manner. Old cell phones therefore do not belong in household waste, but must be collected separately – just like other electrical appliances. “Old cell phones are actually an important source of raw materials for the next electrical appliance and the one after that,” said the SPD politician, “so I would be very pleased if many join in this campaign and help to increase the recycling rate.”
Citizens have the opportunity to hand in their old cell phones in the week before New Year’s Eve, i.e. between Dec. 27 and Dec. 31, during normal office hours (8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) at Florian Wahl’s Citizens’ Office. In addition, mobile devices can also be mailed to or dropped off at the office until the end of January. Since the move this December, the new address is: Stadtgrabenstraße 8 71032 Böblingen.
Deutsche Telekom guarantees that the old devices will be recycled in accordance with data protection regulations. First, it checks which telephones are still usable. The batteries are removed from the rest before shredding, as these have to be disposed of as hazardous waste. And then the recyclables are sorted out and sent for recycling.
The proceeds from the recycling are donated to environmental and development projects. The campaign, which is part of Baden-Württemberg’s sustainability strategy, is supported by the Protestant and Catholic churches and the developmental political association Baden-Württemberg (DEAB), among others. (BBheute, December 27)
Car accident in Sindelfingen: Police looking for witnesses
Sindelfingen. On Saturday at around 11:26 a.m., a traffic accident occurred in Sindelfingen at the intersection of Seemühlenstraße and Wolboldstraße. A 22-year-old Toyota driver turned from Wolboldstraße into Seemühlenstraße and hit a Peugeot driving from Seemühlenstraße in the direction of the city center. The 50-year-old Peugeot driver in turn drove too far to the left. Nobody was injured in the collision. The resulting damage to property amounts to approximately 9000 euros. Witnesses who observed the accident are asked to call 07031 / 6970.(BBheute, December 26)