Local news translated – Tuesday, Mar 17, 2021

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

Daily Host Nation Update, Mar 17, 2021

Corona Infections
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recorded 13,435 new Corona infections and 249 additional deaths within one day. This is significantly more than the 9146 new infections that were reported exactly one week ago. At that time the data from Hamburg had been missing, these move per day in the three-digit range. The number of new infections reported within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) is also rising again significantly: According to the RKI, it is 86.2 and thus higher than the previous day (83.7). (Robert Koch Institute, March 17)

Spring festival to be postponed
Lord Mayor Dr. Frank Nopper said, “From our point of view, the Spring Festival 2021 cannot be held in the planned period. However, we want to consult again with vendors, market traders and the caterers in mid-April to see whether the Spring Festival could be held at a later date between mid-May and mid-June in accordance with the Corona Ordinance then in force and subject to hygiene requirements in a light variant with outdoor catering.” (Press release city of Stuttgart, March 16)

Intensive care physicians: Must roll back again on relaxations
German intensive care physicians are urging a rollback of lockdown relaxations in light of the resurgent corona numbers. “One will simply have to decide, in view of an incidence above 100, which is what one has set as a benchmark, that one has to roll back again,” says Uwe Janssens, a member of the presidium of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi), on Deutschlandfunk radio.

But if at Easter, as predicted by the Robert Koch Institute, there are 30,000 new infections and more every day, there will be a delay of two weeks before there is again a considerable burden. Particularly since because of the British mutation, also increased heavy courses of disease threatened with the 50 to 70 year olds. (Ntv, March 17.)

EU Commission: Vaccination card to be usable from June 1
The EU Commission wants the digital European vaccination card to be ready by June 1. It could therefore enable travel during the summer vacations. This was said by EU Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas to the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” before the official presentation of the project in Brussels. “The proof should be usable by the beginning of summer, and summer starts on June 1.”

Germany extends border controls by two weeks
Germany is extending its stationary controls at the border with the Czech Republic as well as with the Austrian state of Tyrol for another two weeks. This was announced by a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the Münchner Merkur newspaper, “We have the hope that we can end the controls with Austria a little earlier, perhaps even in the course of March.” To this end, he said, the measures to protect against infection and contain the mutated virus in Tyrol will be closely monitored. ( Münchner Merkur, March 16)

Two counties in the greater Stuttgart area pull the emergency brake
Less than a week after the nationwide easing of the lockdown, the emergency brake agreed upon by the federal and state governments is taking effect in several urban and rural districts in Baden-Württemberg. In quite a few counties in the state, the 7-day incidence was above the level of 100 confirmed new infections per 100,000 inhabitants for three days in a row. There, the measures to contain the pandemic are now being tightened again.

Two districts in the greater Stuttgart area are also affected: Esslingen and Göppingen. In both, the 7-day incidence has been above 100 for several days. The rules stipulate that large parts of the retail trade as well as zoos, museums and other facilities in these counties must then close again. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, March 17)

Corona loosening must be withdrawn
On Monday, the district of Böblingen had submitted an application to the Ministry of Social Affairs to allow exceptions with regard to retail. This advance has now been rejected by the state – the reason given being that a corresponding model project could only be permitted where the incidence was below 50. “This is very regrettable,” says District Administrator Roland Bernhard. “With these specifications, hardly any district can still submit such an application.”

As of Thursday, the regulations prescribed in the Corona Ordinance for an incidence value between 50 and 100 therefore apply again: Retail stores, retail stores and markets will have to close and will only be allowed to make single appointments by appointment. In the case of individual appointments, fixed time periods per customer must be specified and contact details must be recorded. One customer is permitted per 40 square meters or part thereof of sales area.

The regulations on distance rules and masking requirements as well as hygiene requirements and concepts remain unchanged. Museums, galleries, zoological and botanical gardens and memorials may also only grant access with individual appointments. Further restrictions apply to the operation of outdoor sports facilities and sports grounds. Whereas groups of no more than 10 people were previously permitted here, this is now no longer allowed, even if the sport is played with little contact.

Only members of one’s own household or members of one’s own household and another household with a total of no more than five persons are now allowed to play sports together. Children of the respective households up to and including 14 years of age do not count. However, children up to and including 14 years of age may participate in recreational and amateur outdoor sports in groups of no more than 20 children. Also prohibited is again the operation of music, art and youth art schools open to the public. This means that individual lessons and lessons for groups of up to five children up to and including the age of 14 are no longer permitted. The same applies to dance and ballet lessons. (Sindelfinger Zeitung, March 16)

Government sticks to vaccination target: offering to all by the end of the summer
Despite the problems with the Astrazeneca vaccine, the German government is still aiming to make an offer of vaccination to all citizens by the end of the summer. The goal remains unchanged, says a government spokeswoman in Berlin.(Ntv, March 17)

Non Corona local News


Police imitated in new phone scam
In the district of Böblingen, a large number of people in Leonberg, Rutesheim and Böblingen were called throughout Tuesday. These were fraudsters pretending to be bank employees or police officers. In the majority of cases, the unknown parties made the callers believe that a higher amount of money had been debited from their bank account and that this now had to be investigated.

In the course of this, the people were all supposed to contact a police commissioner in Stuttgart under the area code 0090. Two of the total of 13 people made this call and, in addition, the house bank was contacted in several cases. In the end, the scam was recognized, no personal data was given out to the perpetrators and the real police was contacted.

In three other cases, a police inspector from Stuttgart called and pretended that the police had arrested a group of burglars. In addition, there were indications that the residential addresses of the people called might be possible targets for further burglaries. The people concerned, however, sensed the scam, did not respond further to the calls and subsequently also informed the real police. According to previous findings, no financial damage was caused.

The police advised not to give out any private data such as bank account details during a telephone conversation with an unknown person. (BBheute, March 17)

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