Local news translated – Thursday, Dec 9, 2021

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

Host Nation Update, Dec 9, 2021

Contact restrictions BW – How many people are authorized to meet?      

Due to the worsening pandemic situation, the federal and state governments have agreed to tighten some Corona measures once again. Therefore, since Saturday, additional restrictions have been in effect in Baden-Württemberg, mainly due to the extension of the 2G-Plus regulations in public areas.  In principle, the regulations for private meetings have not changed, as they were already very strict since Alert Level 1 came into effect on November 17(1) and have not changed in Alert Level 2 (currently in effect since November 24).  Since then, a household is allowed to meet with one other person, and this restriction applies only to the unvaccinated (2). Vaccinated and recovered persons are excluded, as well as persons up to and including 17 years of age and people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or for whom there is no vaccination recommendation. Couples who do not live together in a household count as one household. The regulation applies to all private gatherings and also private events, such as birthdays or weddings.  Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also exempt from the regulation, as there has only been a vaccination recommendation from the STIKO since September 10, 2021. For this group, however, a transition period is only valid until December 10, 2021.  Meanwhile, for unvaccinated children and adolescents 12 years of age and older, a transition period applies in public areas for 2G and 2G-plus regimens until January 31, 2022, after which they, too, will no longer be exempt from G-restrictions.   In the private sector and at private celebrations or events, there is no mask requirement (3). However, for larger gatherings in confined situations, the state recommends wearing a mask.  Depending on the region, exit restrictions may also be added to the regulations for private meetings in Baden-Württemberg. These come into effect when the 7-day incidence in a county exceeds 500 for two consecutive days. Then, non-immunized persons are only authorized to stay outside the home or other accommodation between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. only with a valid reason.  Since the regulations at alert levels 1 and 2 are the same for private gatherings, they will not relax again until the alert level below takes effect. This will be when the hospitalization rate falls below a level of 3.0 and the intensive care bed occupancy falls below a level of 390. Then a household is allowed to meet with 5 more people. The regulations will only cease to apply completely in the basic level, which will come into force below a hospitalization rate of 1.5 and an intensive care bed occupancy of 250.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 9)

Corona ordinance Baden-Wuerttemberg – City does not enact alcohol ban in public places in Stuttgart     

Stuttgart – The state’s current Corona ordinance provides for a ban on alcohol in public places. Since Saturday, this is in force and since then many wonder why the city does not implement the ban. Albrecht Stadler of the Office of Public Order can explain why this has not yet happened and will not happen again: “We will not issue such a ban. We don’t see the need for it at the moment.”  Together with the catering authority and the police, the situation in the city has been analyzed and the conclusion reached that there are currently no crowds of people at gluehwein or mulled wine booths. The expectation that some pubs would be able to sell mulled wine, as they did last year, also did not prove to be true. On the contrary, some owners have stopped serving the alcoholic hot drink on their own initiative. “We’ve only been serving non-alcoholic punch since Saturday,” says Jörg Rauschenberger, for example, the manager of the Cube in the Kunstmuseum on Schlossplatz.  The Ordnungsamt (Public Order Office)  will now monitor the situation and react if there are again alcohol-consuming gatherings of people outside. The Corona Ordinance, which makes the ban possible, is valid until December 31, 2021. The same paragraph also provides for a possible ban on firecrackers on New Year’s Eve.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 9)

Federal Health Minister: Karl Lauterbach on the omicron variant. – “Vaccination is only complete when you have been vaccinated three times”     

Berlin – Karl Lauterbach, the new federal health minister, has stressed the importance of booster vaccinations in the fight against the new corona variant Omicron. “Vaccination is only complete when you have been vaccinated three times,” the SPD politician said Wednesday on ZDF’s “heute journal.” That, he said, is the new reality for being reasonably protected from Omicron. In all likelihood, however, two vaccinations will already mitigate the disease, “and three vaccinations will probably protect very well against severe disease.”    It would be necessary to ensure that Omicron reaches Germany as late as possible, he said. If the Omicron variant were to reach Germany nationwide, Lauterbach said it could impact who is considered fully vaccinated. “If we actually had the Omicron wave here in Germany, then 2G would be reached when you have the third vaccination, so to speak,” Lauterbach said. One could not then assume to be fully protected with two vaccinations, he said. 2G means that recovered and fully vaccinated people will have access to facilities. “But we will cross that bridge when we reach it,” Lauterbach said.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 9)

Non-COVID related news: 

Clearing and gritting duty – Who has to shovel how and when      

Gärtringen (BB district) – In line with the cold season, the Gärtringen municipal council  amended the statutes on the cleaning, clearing and gritting obligation in the municipality at its most recent meeting. The biggest change for residents: On Mondays to Fridays, sidewalks must now be cleared and gritted by seven o’clock. On Saturdays, however, road users have until eight o’clock and on Sundays and public holidays even until nine o’clock. Previously, on weekdays until 7:30 a.m. and on Sundays and public holidays until 8:30 a.m., the snow shovel had to be swung and the grit – salt is only permitted in freezing rain, otherwise gritting material such as sand or chippings – had to be distributed. The obligation ends on all days at 20 o’clock.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 9)