Local news translated – Monday, Jan 25, 2022

Daily Host Nation Update, January 25, 2021

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

Corona Mutation detected in Stuttgart
The mutated South Africa variant B.1.351 has now been detected in Stuttgart for the first time  The type B.1.351 is a mutation of the conventional virus. It was discovered in a married couple who entered Baden-Württemberg from South Africa in early January. As the health department of the state capital of Stuttgart announced on Sunday, January 24, these are the first two confirmed cases of this new virus mutation in Stuttgart.  (Press release city of Stuttgart, January 25)

RKI reports 217 new fatalities
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has reported 6729 new infections and 217 additional deaths within one day. This is a decrease compared to the previous days. However, not all health offices usually transmit their data to the RKI over the weekend. Overall, the number of confirmed infections rose to 2,141,665 and the number of deaths to 52,087, according to the institute. The seven-day incidence remained at 111.2, almost the same
level as Sunday. (Robert Koch Institute, January 25)

Lauterbach: We Need a Very Tough Lockdown against New Variants
SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach speaks of a “very different threat potential” from the new virus variants. “We will need a very hard and very well-functioning lockdown, because the new variants are of a completely different caliber,” he said in the program
“Bild Live”. (Bild live, January 25)

Corona pandemic data – four counties in the State of BW below 50-incidence level
The number of confirmed new Corona infections has been falling in Germany and Baden-Württemberg for days. In Baden-Württemberg, the values are falling faster than in the entire federal government with the 7-day incidence rate below 100 since midweek. The state is currently at 90 confirmed new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The number of corona patients in intensive care units is also currently falling steadily.

What will apply in Baden-Württemberg as of Monday, January 25
New Mask Requirement
Mandatory masks: the biggest change is that as of today it is mandatory to wear medical masks in stores, buses, trains, cabs and airplanes. The obligation also applies at train stations, airports, doctors’ offices, workplaces and places of worship. The relatively inexpensive surgical masks according to DIN standard 14683 are authorized, and so are the higher-quality masks of type FFP2, KN95 or N95. The cloth or fabric masks are no longer authorized to wear at the above mentioned locations. However, children up to and including 14 years of age may still wear them. Children five years of age and younger are exempt from the mask requirement. Violations of the mask requirement will result in fines, but according to the Ministry of Transport in Stuttgart, this will not apply to buses and trains until February 1.

Contact restriction (ordinance remains in place)
Private meetings: In public or private space, a household may meet with one more person who is not a member of its own household. A special feature in Baden-Württemberg is that children up to and including the age of 14 from the two households are not counted. This regulation continues to apply.

Schools
Schools and daycare centers: They will actually remain closed, which means that distance learning will continue. On Tuesday or Wednesday, however, the State government plans to decide on a possible gradual opening of elementary schools and daycare centers starting Feb. 1.

Nighttime curfews (ordinance remains in place)
Curfews: staying out of one’s home is only allowed for “good cause” in Baden- Württemberg. This is interpreted rather loosely during the day: Shopping, sports, exercise, attending emergency care in schools and daycare centers, as well as going to authorities and receiving services are allowed. From 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., however, the guidelines are strict. Only to exercise one’s profession or for “important educational purposes,” to care for animals (walking them) or to receive medical services is one allowed out. At night it is also permitted to accompany the dying or those in “life-
threatening conditions.” This was already the case, it is now extended until mid-February.

Stores and restaurants (ordinance remains in place)
Stores and restaurants: The lockdown of stores also continues until mid-February. Except for supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, butcher stores and drugstores will remain closed. However, even the closed stores are authorized a delivery service and an offer to pick up pre-ordered goods (Click & Collect). Restaurants as well as canteens will also remain closed: however, food may be collected until 8 p.m.

Tourism (ordinance remains in place)
Travel: The state government’s appeal to refrain from private travel as well as excursions to tourist destinations remains in effect. Not allowed are tourist bus trips and overnight stays for tourists, not even at campsites. Still possible are business trips as well as trips and overnight stays “in special cases of hardship”. (Stuttgarter Zeitung,
January 25)

Stiko head: Vaccine shortage was “not foreseeable”.
Supply shortages of Corona vaccines could not have been foreseen, according to the Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute. “This is very unpleasant, no question about it, but these are things that are out of our control,” Stiko chairman Thomas Mertens said on ZDF’s “Morgenmagazin.” He added that the manufacturing problems were “ultimately unforeseeable.” At the time when preliminary contracts were made with manufacturers, nothing was known about the real effectiveness of the vaccines, he said. “You had to buy several cats in a bag because
you didn’t know which vaccine would get approved first,” Mertens said. The Stiko is a panel of experts with the goal of making recommendations on vaccinations based on current research. Following the supply problems at Pfizer-Biontech, the British-Swedish company Astrazeneca announced last week that it would initially deliver fewer doses to the EU than planned. Approval of this vaccine is expected shortly. (Ntv, January 25)

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/