Local news translated – Friday, Feb. 11

Host Nation Update, Fri, Feb. 11, 2022

Editor’s Note: Off-Post COVID rules are regularly updated and consolidated on the Stuttgart Citizen’s Local Coronavirus Rules Explained page.

State pushes opening plans ahead of federal-state conference
Stuttgart – The Baden-Württemberg state government is pressing ahead with its plans for further relaxing the COVID ordinances. The Ministry of Social Affairs announced Thursday evening that it wants to bring forward the planned expert hearing on possible further opening steps. The meeting with epidemiologists and clinic representatives is now to take place on Monday and thus two days before the Prime Minister’s Conference on the further COVID strategy.  There are indications that agreement could be reached on raising the limits within the tier system. A concrete proposal is to be made on Monday.

According to reports, this could mean that Baden-Württemberg would soon move from the alert level back to the warning level. In the warning level, the 3G rules apply in most areas of life.   The main purpose of the switch is to clarify whether there are still enough beds in the normal wards of hospitals in the Southwest to be able to admit additional COVID 19 patients in case of doubt. If the capacities are sufficient or can be expanded, which is assumed, the Corona measures are to be further relaxed. Then the existing staging system is to be adapted to the Omicron virus variant.  The background to the strategy is that the peak of the Omicron wave should be over by mid-February. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 11)

Quarantine rules for critical infrastructure to be relaxed
The State government is taking precautions in case important employees in the critical infrastructure are absent due to the rapid spread of the Omicron virus variant. To counteract this, quarantine rules are to be relaxed here.

Critical infrastructure includes healthcare, utilities and security agencies.  As German press agency has learned from government circles, people are to be allowed to return to key positions, even if they would actually have to remain in quarantine as close contacts or household members of people infected with Corona. As long as they are not infected, themselves. In the event of a Corona case in a close environment, however, only unvaccinated employees or those whose second vaccination was more than three months ago are already required to isolate themselves.  The amendment to the Corona quarantine regulation is to be announced this Friday and will come into effect on Monday. The background to the measure is concern that hospitals, nursing homes, or electricity or water suppliers, for example, could face staff shortages due to the rapid spread of the Omicron virus variant. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 11)

Temporary halt to mandatory vaccination
The German Federal Constitutional Court is expected to issue a ruling today, Feb 11, 2022, that may temporarily halt the implementation of a law making vaccinations mandatory for medical and nursing staffs. About 300 people have submitted 74 emergency appeals to the court on the constitutionality of the intended measure.

The German Federal Parliament passed the law on  Dec 10, 2021, and staff members were told to show proof of vaccination or recovery by Mar 15, 2022. Failure to comply could have resulted in employees being barred from their workplaces. The law is controversial, and on Monday, Bavaria’s Minister President Markus Söder (CSU) announced that Bavaria would temporarily delay implementation of the law. In B-W, Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) voiced concerns about the implementation of the law in B-W, which led to a crisis meeting yesterday between the Greens Party and CDU coalition partners. Following the meeting, Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) and Strobl announced that B-W would implement the law but would also catalog the unsolved issues the implementation raises and submit the catalog to the federal government for resolution. (SWR/StZ, Feb 11)

NON-COVID related news: 

Weather in Baden-Württemberg – These are the prospects for the weekend
Stuttgart – The weekend brings a lot of sun during the day, but also frost and icy conditions at night. Friday will start in Baden-Württemberg with heavy clouds, snow or sleet, and rain at lower altitudes. In the afternoon, there will be some sunshine, according to the German Weather Service (DWD). 

Temperatures will be a maximum of 0 to 9 degrees, whilst on the Black Forest peaks there will be gale-force winds. In the night to Saturday is then in many places with frost, icy and locally also with fog to expect. Temperatures will drop to – 7 degrees. During the day then up to 8 degrees and lots of sun. On Sunday, it will remain mostly sunny and dry, the values climb up to 13 degrees in the Rhine valley.
(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 11) 

Historical folk festival to take place in Stuttgart from Sep 24 to Oct 3
Stuttgart – This Friday, the economic committee of the Stuttgart City Council will once again meet to discuss the Historical Folk Festival. This is to take place from September 24 to October 3 on the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart city center. 

Lord Mayor Dr. Nopper wishes to have the opening ceremony of the Historical Folk Festival on September 24 to be accompanied by actors in historical costumes. King Wilhelm I should read the opening decree for the folk festival, accompanied by representatives of the peasantry and craftsmen guild.

In addition, his activities and those of his wife, Queen Katharina von Württemberg, were to be “illuminated during the Historical Folk Festival in an exhibition around the Jubilee Column, in order to place it in the history of the state and agriculture in Württemberg”.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 11) 

Editor’s note: Learn more about inclement weather procedures at USAG Stuttgart