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Host Nation Update, July 29, 2021
Kretschmann puts pressure on mandatory testing for vacation returnees
Stuttgart – Baden-Württemberg’s Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) is calling for more speed in the planned Corona testing requirement for vacation returnees. Kretschmann said Thursday on Deutschlandfunk radio that the federal government must see that it gets this done as quickly as possible. Doing it in September is too late, he said. The federal government should have prepared better. Kretschmann said that it would be difficult to control the testing requirement when entering the country by train or car. Checks could only be carried out randomly. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) had called on Tuesday evening with a view to an extended testing obligation to August 1 as a date and referred to an assurance of the federal government. The federal government had left the start date on Wednesday, however, still open. Kretschmann also urged a massive increase in the pace of vaccination. “Vaccination is the only effective measure to bring the pandemic to its knees”, he said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 29)
Here’s what the new RKI document states about incidence factors
Stuttgart – The Robert Koch Institute believes that incidence factor should remain the leading indicator of infection dynamics. “Incidence is leading indicator for infection dynamics (high incidences have numerous effects),” The 7-day incidence remains important for assessing the situation in Germany and initiating control measures at an early stage. this is why there is said to have been major discussion in the meeting, because many countries want to move away from incidence level as the most important criterion.
On the current situation, the paper said incidences have been rising again for about three weeks, and the proportion of hospitalizations for about two weeks. “The fourth wave has begun.” However, high vaccination rates alone are not enough to keep the fourth wave flat, the report adds. Additional “baseline protective measures” are needed to bring the fourth wave down enough to keep patient numbers in hospitals from getting too high, it says. The paper cites a reduction in contacts and a reduction in mobility as measures. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 29)
New Corona ordinances for Baden-Württemberg – More freedom for vaccinated people under discussion
Stuttgart – In the debate about the importance of incidence in the face of a rising vaccination rate, the head of office of the Ministry of Social Affairs in Baden-Württemberg, Uwe Lahl, is in favor of far-reaching relaxations for the fully immunized. The incidence and the number of hospital admissions would increasingly decouple from each other. We therefore want to make a paradigm shift in the next Corona regulation.” The new regulations are scheduled to take effect Sept. 15. Incidence will then fade into the background and no longer serve as a basis for restrictions, he said. “We should drop all restrictions on vaccinated people,” Lahl urged. There will no longer be any contact restrictions for this group, he said, and with a vaccination card there will be access to all areas of public life. By then, he said, every citizen of Baden-Württemberg would also have been offered vaccination. “Those who are not vaccinated then do not want to be vaccinated. That is the good right of these people but also associated with the assumption of a certain risk.” For non-vaccinated people, access to restaurants, to culture or to sports will then only be possible with a negative test result, he said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 29)
Baden-Württemberg – High traffic expected at the start of the summer vacations
Stuttgart – With the start of the summer vacations, it is likely to be more crowded on the roads, airports and train stations in the southwest as of Thursday. Stuttgart Airport is expecting more than 25,000 travelers a day. Around 9,000 aircraft are expected to take off or land in the state capital during the vacations. The ADAC is expecting a wave of travel starting Friday. According to the forecast, the first vacation weekend could be one of the most congested weekends of the year, and drivers will need patience, especially on Saturday. According to the congestion experts, those who want to avoid traffic jams should ideally leave early in the morning or after 6 p.m. in the evening. The Albaufstieg and the Walldorf and Ulm/Echingen interchanges, among others, could become traffic jam hotspots. Construction sites on the 5 and 6 freeways could become a test of patience. Deutsche Bahn is preparing its passengers for waiting times and individual train cancellations; as the summer is being used for some construction work. The major projects in the southwest then include work on the Gäubahn between the state capital and Singen (Constance district) and between Eutingen im Gäu and Freudenstadt (both Freudenstadt districts). Due to construction work on the Stuttgart S-Bahn main line in the city center, passengers will have to change to buses and expect longer waiting times. In addition, tracks and switches are being renewed in many places and several stations are being made barrier-free, for example in Offenburg and Rastatt. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 29)