Local news translated – Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021

Germany is currently under strict lockdown restrictions.
Click here for details on how the Baden-Württemberg ordinance impacts the USAG Stuttgart community.

Daily Host Nation Update, Feb 16, 2021

HN Update, Feb 16

Corona virus in Baden-Württemberg – Justice Minister Wolf urges review of Corona measures

Ulm – Justice Minister Guido Wolf (CDU) has urged a review of the corona measures in light of the declining seven-day incidence in the Southwest. The state cabinet must now decide whether a continuation of the measures, which were to apply until the value of 50, is proportionate. During the last meeting, the federal and state governments had recently decided to consider relaxing the Corona measures only from the number of 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. Previously, the target had been 50 for the seven-day incidence.

In this context, Wolf also referred to recent court decisions. It is evident that courts tend to view restrictions more critically now, as new infections decline, Wolf said. “We cannot  afford numerous court decisions, which correct political decisions,” the CDU politician said. Otherwise, Wolf said, there is a risk that trust in politics and the entire Corona measures could be lost. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 16)

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – What about travelling during Easter vacation?

Over the weekend, Saxony’s Minister President Michael Kretschmer had already told Germans to forget about Easter vacation – too much travel in April is poison, according to the CDU politician. Do people see it that way, too? Both Ute Stegmann, the managing director of the German Bodensee-Tourismus GmbH, and Herbert Kreuz of the Hochschwarzwald-Tourismus GmbH report an extremely restrained demand for the Easter vacations.  On the other hand, if there should be an opening after all, then people will at least make day trips or even take a short trip. The Corona Compass of the German Economic Institute for Tourism (DWIF) also assesses the situation in this way: Guests would wait and see, but the desire to travel is unbroken. “The trend toward stronger short-term business continues, but a rush of bookings can be expected if restrictions are relaxed.  In any case, it is important to guests that they have the flexibility to cancel depending on how the pandemic develops and that good hygiene measures are in place.  Overall, the situation is comparable to last summer, when many people shied away from traveling abroad and spontaneously opted for a vacation on the North Sea, Baltic Sea or Lake Constance. Therefore, the crucial question for the Easter vacations will now be whether the lockdown will actually be over by then. “Anything else would be a major blow,” says Martin Knauer – after all, it’s not just hotels and restaurants that have been closed since the beginning of November that are affected, but also travel agencies, city guides, bike rental companies, boat rental companies and many other professional groups. Easter is traditionally the start of a new vacation season. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 16)

FOCUS on-line – Top Corona news

Industry association warns against border closures: “Danger is great that supply chains may break off”

Federal Health Minister Spahn plans free rapid tests

As of March 1, citizens are apparently to receive free Corona rapid tests. This is what Health Minister Jens Spahn is planning. “There are now significantly more rapid tests available on the market. Therefore, all citizens should be able to be tested free of charge by trained personnel with antigen rapid tests.” (FOCUS on-line, February 16)

Cancelled Fasching parades due to Corona. Bela Stahl from the Böblingen Fasching association hopes it would be better next year

On Rose Monday, there are always big Fasching parades in and around Böblingen, and on Shrove Tuesday, every year in Herrenberg, during the  morning the horse market and in the afternoon the fool’s parade attract people from all over. However, this year everything is cancelled. Here’s the interview with Bela Stahl:

Bela, how are you feeling?

Badly, very badly. On Sunday, we would have built up our Fasnetsdorf at the Elbenplatz (BB). And yesterday, there would have been the big Fasching parade, however, everything is cancelled.

What are you doing instead?

I sit at home and mourn. On Sunday, my wife, my daughter and I made a Fasching parade with Playmobile figures in our living room.

What are the other members of your club doing?

Many are sitting at home in their “Häs” (the respective handmade Fasching mask). But that is no compensation for the Faching season. It is much longer than the Shrove Monday parade. Our members are usually active all year round, rehearsing and dancing and making music. This has been completely cancelled for almost a year now. That makes us all depressed, in addition to the stress at work and in the family due to the lockdown.

How many performances do you normally have per season? 

We are on the road about 30 times a year. I took the bus driver’s license years ago specifically to drive our group to the parades.

Can’t your witches simply cast away Corona?

Apparently, our witchcraft is not sufficient for that, unfortunately. Otherwise, Corona would have disappeared by mid-January at the latest.

(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 16)

NOTE:
For additional host nation news, please visit the below English language websites:
https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/germany/s-1432
https://www.welt.de/english-news/