Local news translated – Wednesday, March 30

Host Nation Update, Mar 30, 2022

Coalition decision on way ahead

In a meeting yesterday, Mar 29, 2022, Baden-Württemberg’s Greens/CDU coalition decided not to implement hot spot rules contained in the newly revised federal Infection Protection Law (IfSG) and to allow mandatory mask wear and contact restriction rules to expire on Apr. 2. Beginning Sunday, Apr. 3, mask wear is only required in communal lodging for asylum seekers and refugees, in public transportation, in homeless shelters, and in medical and nursing facilities. Testing requirements (3G Rule) will continue in childcare centers, schools, hospitals, nursing facilities, and confinement facilities. The coalition will also implement measures to ensure health facilities are not overwhelmed and press the federal government to establish federal-level measures for COVID management. B-W will prepare for an expected spike in infections this coming fall by setting up vaccination systems. Vice Minister President and Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) said the coalition was united in their approach and added, “We remain on Team Caution!” Elsewhere in Germany, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein will allow mask requirements and contact restrictions to expire. NRW and Lower Saxony are expected to take similar positions. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has taken a different course and declared the entire state a hot spot. Thuringia’s State Parliament will hold an extraordinary session today to decide its course. The SPD-Left Party-Greens Party minority government there wants to extend the measures, but a majority vote is uncertain. (B-W/SWR/tagessschau Mar 29)

Non-COVID related news:

Setup of Stuttgart’s Spring Festival – What rules will apply to partying at the Wasen?

At least one thing is already clear: The 82nd Stuttgart Spring Festival (Frühlingsfest) will begin with a two-year delay on Easter Saturday. However, what kind of rules will apply is still unclear. The organizer and the involved offices of the city will talk at the beginning of next week. Because until Saturday, April 2, the new COVID Ordinance of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which the government had announced in mid-March, is still in effect, requiring compliance with certain rules at least until the end of the transition period. According to the current state of affairs, the mask requirement indoors and the 3G access rule will then also end. Currently, the plan is to set up the square without access restrictions. 250 booths are permitted. For many of them it is the first fairground since the beginning of the pandemic more than two years ago, where they set up their booths and carousels. The big rides like roller coaster, ferris wheel and wild water ride are already there, unloading and setting up to make sure the Tüv (technical inspection agency) has time to check and test; as the rides need a special execution permit before they are put into operation for the first time. The spring festival is scheduled to begin on Holy Saturday, April 16. It will end on Sunday, May 8. Unfortunately, the beer tents that are usually there, will not be set up this time, due to the pandemic.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 30)

Waldhaus Hildrizhausen – 15 000 Euro donations for Ukrainian home children in Böblingen

The joint Ukraine donation account of all cities and communities in the district of Böblingen raised 15,000 Euros which will go to the Waldhaus “youth welfare facility” for assistance and support of Ukrainian home children who are housed in the former Wildermuth barracks in Böblingen. Among other things, this will also finance the purchase of several laptops that will enable the children to take part in online lessons organized from Ukraine. The central donation account was set up to enable actions and projects to support war refugees from Ukraine. This is to support aid for refugees in the district of Böblingen, but also the use of funds for actions in the areas close to the Ukrainian border, for example in Poland or Romania, or also in partner municipalities of the cities and towns in the district. Information about the donation account can be found on the homepage of the district of Böblingen, www.lrabb.de. The list of what the funds will be used for is updated on an ongoing basis. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 30)

Stuttgart Airport has new fire simulation facility

Anyone landing at Stuttgart Airport on Tuesday morning might have been startled when looking out of the window. Flames were bursting from the engine of an aircraft parked in the cargo center area, and teams of two were fighting the flames. The fire was quickly distinguished. The occasion for the exercise by the airport fire department with observers from Bremen and Hanover was the official handover of the world’s largest and most modern mobile fire simulation facility. Airport fire departments must practice regularly and be trained to operate on and in burning passenger jets. Until about ten years ago, the Stuttgart airport fire department practiced with burning kerosene. However, these “hot extinguishing exercises,” as Stuttgart Airport CEO Walter Schoefer called them on Tuesday, were at some point no longer possible for environmental reasons. After four years of planning and construction, the joint project went into operation at Stuttgart Airport on Tuesday. The new fire simulation facility consists of nine containers from which a model aircraft can be assembled. This is 38 meters long, eight meters high, has a wingspan of 20 meters and corresponds to simplified aircraft of the type Airbus A320 or Boeing B737, as they are often in use at the three partner airports. The entrance doors and opening mechanisms also correspond to these aircraft types. To ensure that the fire departments from all three airports involved can practice enough, the facility will be on the road regularly: three months in Stuttgart, three months in Hanover, three months in Bremen. Andreas Rudlof, head of Stuttgart Airport’s fire protection and hazard prevention department emphasizes the importance: “Gaining practical experience with real fire is more emphatic than many theory courses.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 30)