Local news translated – Wednesday, Feb. 16

Host Nation Update, Wed, Feb. 16, 2022

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

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – Incidence decreases in the southwest
Stuttgart – The seven-day incidence in new Corona infections in Baden-Württemberg that is reported daily has fallen slightly. Within a week, infections with the coronavirus were detected in 1624.3 people per 100,000 inhabitants, as the State Health Office announced in Stuttgart on Tuesday. That was 22.4 less than the previous day.

It is still up compared to the previous week, however, where the value was 1537.3.

There were 284 COVID patients in intensive care units across the country on Tuesday, 3 fewer than the previous day. That means 12.8 percent of ICU beds are occupied by COVID sufferers, according to the data. The number of Corona-infected people hospitalized within a week and per 100,000 inhabitants increased by 0.5 to 7.2. A week earlier, the so-called hospitalization incidence in the state had been 7.7. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten Feb 16)

Today’s Federal State Conference
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Minister Presidents will meet today, Feb 16 to discuss the way ahead on the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a draft decision paper, the group is expected to rescind contact restrictions for vaccinated and recovered people with the restrictions applying again if an unvaccinated person is present.

The 2G Rule (vaccinated or recovered) in stores will be lifted nationwide, although mask requirements will remain. In a second step beginning on MAR 4, the 3G Rule (vaccinated, recovered, and tested) will apply in restaurants and lodging establishments.

The number of participants at large interregional events (soccer games, etc.) will increase.

A third step will begin on 20 MAR 22, lifting contact and access restrictions and teleworking requirements. Mask wear will still be required indoors and on public transportation.

B-W Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) supports an extension of the federal Law for Protection against Infections (IfSG) beyond its 19 MAR 22 expiration date, as well as a gradual, deliberate loosening while retaining mandatory mask wear and other hygiene rules. (tagesschau/SWR, Feb 16)

Demonstration at Stuttgart Schlossplatz – Speakers warn against unjust Corona policy
Stuttgart – on Tuesday evening speakers from culture, trade unions, social associations, refugee aid met at a rally on Schlossplatz pointing out that an unjust Corona policy plays into the hands of right-wing extremist forces and thus endangers democracy in Germany. 

In front of an audience of around 300, Armin Biermann of the Caritas Association of Stuttgart criticized the fact that the actual service providers in the pandemic – nursing staff, educators or parcel delivery people – are still too poorly paid. “For the most part, it’s just enough to make a living,” Biermann said. Especially in Stuttgart, with its high rents, this is a serious problem, he said. “We don’t need one-off bonus payments, but a sustainable political change towards more social justice,” the speaker stressed. The fact that it is precisely the top performers in society who are socially disadvantaged endangers democracy in the long run, he said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 16)

Light version for Stuttgart – Bad Cannstatt’s spring festival planned for April
Stuttgart – For the third year in a row, innkeepers and tent owners try to hold the fest at Cannstatter Wasen over Easter. The dream has fallen through twice, but now all good things finally come in threes. The fair is to be held from April 16 to May 8.

Andreas Kroll, head of the Stuttgart event company, is at any rate cautiously optimistic. “It won’t be profitable for us, but I’m hopeful that there will be at least one Frühlingsfest light,” he says, “plans are being made for all possibilities – with the exception of beer tents, as at the moment, it is still completely unclear which measures will be enforced or which restrictions may still apply in April.” There is not enough planning time for beer tents.”

Before the meeting of the Minister presidents this Wednesday, there is, after all, talk of dropping of all  protective COVID measures” by March 20.  

What that means exactly, however, is still to be discussed and finalized. Baden-Württemberg’s Minister President Winfried Kretschmann is, after all, one of the cautious ones, and he is once again calling on the German government to provide a legal basis for further COVID requirements for the period after the previous measures expire in March.” After all, it is becoming apparent that only the 3-G rule will soon apply.  

How many people would be allowed to come unto the fest grounds is still to be determined.  After all, from March 4 onwards, 25,000 fans will again be allowed into the soccer stadiums.  For showman representative Mark Roschmann it is clear, “we could host an open-air event without danger. We’re standing by.” He himself has organized a small carnival in September 2020 and in July 2021 respectively at the EWS Arena in Göppingen. And he knows that plans are also being made elsewhere, in Hamburg, for example, and also in Bremen and Munich. “We can react at short notice,” says Roschmann, although the same applies here: Staff must be brought in for short-time work or recruited, and goods must be ordered. 

He therefore assumes “that the spring festival will take place” and plans accordingly. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 16)

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