Host Nation Update, Wed, Feb. 9, 2022
3G rules dropped in stores – contact tracing no longer required in restaurants
Yesterday, Feb 8, 2022, B-W amended its main COVID ordinances and the changes become effective today. Except at ALERT LEVEL II, the 3G Rule (vaccinated, recovered, or tested) no longer applies in stores, and people can shop without having to show a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate.
The amendment also rescinded the requirement for guests to supply contact information at restaurants, hotels, amusement parks and zoos, religious services, and many other facilities. The number of guests at public events and facilities, such as theaters, concerts, and sporting events, has been increased at ALERT LEVEL I with the 2G Rule (vaccinated and recovered) applying to indoor events where a maximum of 50% of venue capacity up to 2,000 spectators is allowed. The amendment also loosens the restrictions on outdoor events and fests. (SWR.1, Feb 9)
Corona rules in Baden-Württemberg – OB Palmer also calls for opening of catering trades and restaurants
Tübingen’s Lord Mayor Boris Palmer (Greens) has called for further openings in the gastronomy sector. In view of the relaxation of access rules in the southwest, Palmer expressed satisfaction. However, he also said the restaurant industry needs to be freely accessible again. “The trade needs the offers of the gastronomy. The city centers can only function economically again and fulfill their function if both are freely accessible.” “We clearly have minimal infection risk within the retail. But we also have possibilities with the catering trade to establish good hygiene concepts with masks to the place, with distance between the tables, with mask for the employees, with ventilation concepts,” Palmer said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 9)
Rapid PCR testing at local pharmacies
B-W will provide EUR 750,000 to subsidize 500 Point-of-Care (PoC) PCR testing machines for pharmacies in B-W. PoC PCR machines can provide reliable test results in about 15 minutes.
The intent of the measure is to expand and decentralize the PCR testing capacity in B-W. B-W has 2,400 pharmacies, of which 600 have registered to conduct PCR testing. There are 80 pharmacies that already provide PCR testing, either on-site using PoC PCR tests or in cooperation with external laboratories. At the beginning of the year, B-W had a statewide cacapacity to perform 325,000 PCR tests weekly. (B-W, Feb 9)
Böblingen district – start of vaccination in pharmacies
Böblingen district – With the pharmacies, there is now another point of contact for Corona vaccinations in the state. The Holzgerlinger pharmacist Björn Schittenhelm sets the starting signal on Tuesday noon in the test and vaccination center in Holzgerlingen with his first official vaccination. The 38-year-old significantly oversees and organizes the vaccination and testing activities in the district of Böblingen. For a long time, Böblingen was the district with the lowest infection figures. It consistently relied on digitization, and its online registration software was copied hundreds of times. The pharmacist was also a pioneer when it came to vaccinations, organizing vaccination marathons and providing support in the form of knowledge and expertise. “The pharmacies are now waiting to see what the demand is.” In a flash survey he launched, about a third of the 60 pharmacists in the district had signaled that they would be willing to vaccinate against Corona. So for those willing to be vaccinated in the Böblingen district, not much will change for the time being: they can continue to pick up their shots at the official TIZ (Test and Vaccination Centers) and at the KIS (Kreisimpfstützpunkt). In addition to vaccinations, the pharmacist sees the planned grant from the state for so-called point-of-care devices in pharmacies, which can be used to quickly evaluate PCR tests on site. Until now, these have been used sparingly because the tests could not be adequately billed. This is now changing. Here, too, Björn Schittenhelm has shown himself to be a pioneer: These devices have already been available in the Böblingen district for a year, which means that 500 additional PCR tests per day are now possible. This means that PCR tests can also be offered in the district in the future, including the PCR pool tests at schools. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 9)
The Federal Ministry of Transport had already announced last year that it wanted to introduce an obligation to for motorists to carry protective masks in the car. At the suggestion of the German Medical Technology Association (BVMed) and the DIN standardization committee, it was then agreed to add two medical protective masks to the first aid kit. In the event of an accident, these should ensure both self-protection and that of others. According to BVMed, the new standard for first-aid kits has been in effect since February 1, 2022 . However, there is a transitional period of 12 months .
Old first-aid kits can therefore be carried in the car and purchased from retailers until January 31, 2023 . The new standard edition 2022 must also be listed by the legislator in § 35h of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) as a minimum standard.