Local news translated – Tuesday, Mar 31, 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 31, 2021

Stuttgart retail trade facing the emergency brake – Many customers are annoyed
Stuttgart – A municipal Corona rapid test center is taking shape the Schlossplatz. This coincides with the emergency brake that will be pulled in Stuttgart today. The local incidence rate has now been above the critical level of 100 for several days. The State capital is tightening the rules: Grocery stores will remain open, but recently opened bookstores and most retail, museums and Wilhelma (zoo), will close after being open again for about three weeks. “Click & Collect,” the collection of pre-ordered goods, remains possible. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 31)

Corona protest in Stuttgart – Four demonstrations planned for Saturday
The Office of Public Order and the police have been dealing with the Corona protection protests planned for Saturday in Stuttgart.

So far, it is certain that four rallies will take place, a spokesman for the city said. The largest event is planned by the so-called Querdenker on the Wasen (Bad Cannstatt). With three smaller demos taking place within the city. For these four rallies, the city has already held cooperation talks with the registrants. The exact conditions for a safe course of events, which takes into account the dangers of the pandemic, are yet to be announced.

  • Between 4 p.m., and 7 p.m., The “Querdenker” have registered a rally at the Cantsatter Wasen, they expect about 2,500 participants. With their demo, they are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the movement launched by Michael Ballweg. 
  • At 11 a.m., a stationary demo will take place on the parking lot “Rotebühlhof” near the tax office, the organizers of “people demonstrating for free vaccine decisions” and expects around 250 people. 
  • Between 1 p.m., and 5 p.m., on the stock exchange square, the rally for “Politics fails, gastronomy dies,” will take place. The organizers expect around 50 participants.
  • At 11 a.m., on Wilhelmsplatz the “peaceful stand-up rally for basic rights and human dignity on the basis of the Basic Law”, is expecting approximately 200 persons. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten,, Mar 31)

Mask requirement for elementary school pupils triggers emotions
Since March 22, students at elementary schools have been required to wear a mask, including inside classrooms. This regulation and the differing opinions about it continue to stir up tempers. Currently it is still unclear how it will continue after the Easter vacations, and questions still exist around the self-tests for pupils. “From a scientific point of view, a mask requirement is unavoidable, and all measures must also be included in parallel in order to be able to keep the schools open safely,”  At the Eichendorff School in Bad Cannstatt, it works well with the mandatory masks for elementary school students, reports principal Matthias Bolay: “We make sure that the children always have a mask break.” And if the weather cooperates, they take their break outside. And in class? “If a child needs air, he or she may go to the window,” says Bolay.

Because, as the principal admits, wearing a mask all day is “quite a strain, there are a few parents who no longer send their children to school because of it.  But what happens if students refuse to wearing a mask? “Sending students home is not an option. Neither is calling the police.” However, she says, school administrators can point out to parents that students are not required to be present. Sometimes that is “a balancing act at the school,” she says.

The Ministry of Education’s March 24, 2021, handout states that if students do not comply with the mask requirement and pedagogical measures do not bear fruit, educational and disciplinary measures could be considered, including fines. Police operations at or in front of schools because of non-compliance with the corona rules are not known to her, said a police spokeswoman. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 31) 

Böblingen may be a model for the Federal government
On Tuesday, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wanted to know more about the “Böblingen model”. By video conference he discussed with district administrator Roland Bernhard and the Holzgerlinger pharmacist Björn Schittenhelm the test strategies in the district. The strategy involves citizens taking advantage of two free rapid tests per week at 50 test centers in the district. All appointments are booked online and the results are sent digitally to the Doctorbox app within half an hour. 

“It is nice to see that you have built up a well-functioning infrastructure in Böblingen as far as testing is concerned,” said a visibly curious health minister after receiving a welcome from CDU member of parliament Marc Biadacz, who had initiated the switch. The district of Böblingen is “right at the forefront” in this regard nationwide and, unlike others, has closely involved pharmacies. Elsewhere, testing runs through doctors mainly, he said. “Your model can be a first step to bring about test-based openings,” Spahn said. That is, visiting restaurants or theaters based on a negative test result.  However, he also pointed out that “testing doesn’t prevent the wave, but it can help detect it and break chains of infection earlier.” It therefore remains a good tool. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 31)  

60,000 tests in the Böblingen district, 300 positive results
District Administrator Bernhard reported once again on the testing successes in Boblingen country, “Since the start in December, we have carried out 60,000 rapid tests and 300 tested positive. That may sound small, but it is at least 300 chains of infection broken,” he said. (BB.heute.de, Mar 31)

Weather in Baden-Württemberg – It remains sunny and warm
The weather in Baden-Württemberg will remain sunny and exceptionally mild on Wednesday. The maximum temperatures are 20 degrees in the Black Forest and 26 degrees in the Neckar region, according to the German Weather Service (DWD). Also on Thursday, the sun is shining, only in the mountains there are individual source clouds in the afternoon. 

On Good Friday, it remains bright. In the south, the DWD expects clouds in some areas, in the mountains showers are possible. It will be cooler with a maximum of 14 degrees on the Alb and 21 degrees in the High Rhine Valley.   Saturday will start cloudy, later the sun will shine. With a weak northwest wind, it will remain dry. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 31)

https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/germany/s-1432
https://www.welt.de/english-news/