Local news translated, July 17

Daily Host Nation Stories July 17, 2020

Federal States want Corona tests for returning vacationers

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) warns of the consequences of careless behavior of German vacationers. The Federal States want to have returnees from certain countries tested for Corona.

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has threatened to impose new corona restrictions if holidaymakers behave in a less than responsible manner, as was recently the case on Mallorca. “We have only just succeeded in reopening the borders in Europe. We must not now jeopardize this by reckless behavior,” Maas told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group. “Otherwise new restrictions will be inevitable.”

The health ministers of the German states are considering stricter rules for returnees from countries severely affected by the coronavirus. According to the current legal situation, these people in Germany must first be placed in 14-day domestic quarantine. Along other things, targeted corona tests are now also being discussed.

“My fear, however, is that returnees do not adhere to it,” says Kalayci. “That’s why we have agreed to talk about targeted testing of this group of people, for example. At the moment, the quarantine obligation applies to returnees or those entering from countries outside the EU and the European Economic Area. The EU state of Luxembourg is also currently affected due to a sharp increase in corona infections. (Welt.de, July 16)

After excess partying in Mallorca – German club “Ballermann” closed down

Restaurant and Club owners at the “German party mile” “Ballermann” in Mallorca, Spain are no longer authorized to open their bars and restaurants.  (BR.24 news, July 16)

Vacation returnees bring the virus back with them

In the Böblingen district, almost half of the Corona patients had recently been abroad. In the region as a whole, the numbers are rising. The holiday season hasn’t even really started yet. However, many alarm bells are already ringing with the health authorities in and around Stuttgart. In the Böblingen district, for example, ten citizens infected with the corona virus did so while abroad. Four patients were in Serbia, three in Kosovo and one person returned home from the USA, Indonesia and Mallorca. That is almost half of the 23 current cases. The absolute number of patients in the district of Böblingen has recently remained almost unchanged, as Benjamin Lutsch, spokesman of the district administration, emphasizes. Lutsch cannot answer the question whether the Mallorca returnee visited the party mile “Ballermann”, “Where exactly and how the holiday-maker spent his stay, we do not know that detail.

The number of sick returnees is also increasing nationwide. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs in Baden-Württemberg, about 15 percent of the reported cases are currently returnees – and the trend is rising. “To put it in a nutshell: We are very concerned,” says Sven Matis, spokesman for the city of Stuttgart. 13 of the 83 Stuttgart citizens who fell ill between 15 June and 13 July – that corresponds to 16 percent – are returning home to travel, with the nine Serbian repatriates who fell ill also accounting for the share in Stuttgart. “Serbia is classified as an international risk area, just like the USA, India or many countries in Latin America, due to the worrying development,” said Stefan Ehehalt, head of the Stuttgart Health Authority. Three patients were in Croatia and one in the Czech Republic. The city is trying to persuade people not to travel to high-risk areas by means of warning signs in the city and at the airport.

Anyone who still intends traveling to these areas, however, must report to the responsible public order office upon return and be placed in a 14-day quarantine. “Anyone who does not comply with the regulations, disregards the quarantine and possibly infects third parties, must expect to pay a fine, up to a maximum of 25,000 euros, according to the state’s Corona Ordinance,” emphasizes Albrecht Stadler, head of the Security and Order Department at the Stuttgart Public Order Office. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 17)

Will there be upcoming travel bans?

When Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly addressed the issue of corona exit bans during her visit to Bavaria on Tuesday, her Minister of the Chancellery, Helge Braun (also CDU), was already negotiating with the Federal States on the matter. The Ministry of State in Stuttgart confirmed the telephone exchange on Wednesday. However, there was still no written resolution. In this respect, it is not yet possible to evaluate the proposal.

Nevertheless, there is already a lively public debate on Corona exit bans for vacationers from regions with increased case numbers. “In any case, the aim is to keep outbreaks under control,” said Alexis von Komorowski, chief executive of the Baden-Württemberg District Council. The local authorities have “a wide range of instruments at their disposal – from mandatory masks in public areas to exit restrictions”. In principle, the public health department is responsible. He said it was advisable to restrict emigration if there was an unusually high incidence of coronavirus infection in a small area, which could specifically be defined, such as a town, a residential area or even just a street, and that the number of people infected with coronavirus had to be limited. Exceptions could be possible, for example, if those affected in the region had been tested negative for the virus. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 16)

Teachers feel exploited during the Corona crisis

Many teachers in Baden-Württemberg feel poorly protected and exploited in their work under corona conditions. This is the result of a survey among teachers in general education The survey, carried out in the first week of July, is representative for Baden-Württemberg, the VBE said. One third of the teachers felt that they were not sufficiently protected. More than 70 percent would like to be tested for the virus on a voluntary basis. Every third teacher reported that teachers themselves cleaned rooms in order to ensure a higher standard of cleaning. Gerhard Brand, VBE state head, demanded from the Ministry of Education “an appropriate working environment with sufficient time for education and training”

Brand welcomed the fact that for the next school year the possibility of voluntary tests has been announced and that secondary schools will be required to wear masks outside of class. Further steps would have to follow, he said, to extend mandatory masking at all schools to all direct interactions between teachers and students and to set up Plexiglas panels. In addition, students who come from a period of illness should be tested before returning to school. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 17)

Price war for food is getting worse

Whether frozen pizza, French fries or chocolate cream – the supermarkets are engaged in a price war like they haven’t for a long time. Consumers benefit from the cheaper products, but the pressure on suppliers is likely to increase, retail experts fear. Local supermarkets in particular are engaged in a real price war. Because of the recent reduction in VAT (in response to the pandemic) customers have been attentive to whether retailers are indeed passing on the reduction in prices to them as promised. The last change in the value-added tax was 13 years ago. From the customer’s point of view, this has been a welcome development as they benefit from lower prices. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 17)

Non-Corona related news:

Sindelfingen – Guided city tours in August

The Department of Culture of the city of Sindelfingen offers three different guided tours in August: Start is always at the i-Punkt, Marktplatz 1, where you can buy your tickets for 3 € per person, children can participate free of charge. According to current Corona regulations, up to 20 participants are allowed. They have to leave their data at the i-Punkt for a possible contact chain tracking, which will be saved for 4 weeks.

Sunday, August 9, 3 p.m. “Historical city tour

The historical center of Sindelfingen with the Romanesque St. Martin’s Church and canon’s monastery is the focus of this guided tour. For thousands of years people have lived in the area of today’s city of Sindelfingen. It was a long way from the Roman settlement to the modern industrial city. The city was founded in 1263 and the Romanesque St. Martin’s Church was already the center of a canon monastery which was known far beyond the region. During the historical city tour, many old traces are still discovered.

Sunday, August 16, 3 p.m., St. Martin’s Church (in English)

One of the treasures of Sindelfingen is already signposted on the A81 motorway: St. Martin’s Church. Explore one of the most important Romanesque monuments in the southwest of Germany. A church was already built on this site as far back as the 8th century. Today’s three-nave, Romanesque basilica was built back in the 11th and 12th century.it was consecrated in 1083 and structurally completed in 1133. a wealthy monastery was grouped around St. Martin’s Church for 400 years until Count Eberhard and his mother Mechthild sold the establishment to Tübingen in1476/77 for the founding of the university.

Sunday, August 23, 3 p.m. “Sindelfinger Symbols of Rule”

They do indeed exist: the small, often almost hidden signs and carriers of meaning that we use to call symbols. They can be found at the fountain of friendship, in the “masks” of the half-timbered houses or in the numerical symbolism of St. Martin’s Church. In view of the outstanding importance of the houses of worship in the Middle Ages, most of the symbols can be found here.

The Sindelfingen archaeologist and historian Dr. Werner Heinz visits some of the sites of such symbols during a guided tour and explains the background. The main focus will be on the sophisticated Martinskirche.

The Department of Culture also offers group tours at any time. Information is available at the i-Punkt, Marktplatz 1, by telephone on 0 70 31/94-3 25 or by e-mail to

i-Punkt@sindelfingen.de. (Press Release, City of Sindelfingen, July 16)