Local news translated – Wednesday, March 9

Host Nation Update, Mar 9, 2022

Editor’s Note: Off-Post COVID rules are regularly updated and consolidated on the Stuttgart Citizen’s Local Coronavirus Rules Explained page.

New COVID rules will apply as of March 20
Berlin – COVID rules are to be largely dropped on March 20, but a hotspot regulation is to give the individual states options for intervention. According to his own statements, Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) agreed on this with Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). 

According to Buschmann, there will be no more restrictions in the everyday lives of citizens.” Exceptions are that tests would be necessary if there are many vulnerable people (the elderly or the sick), and mask mandates, for example, in public transportation.   The second pillar, he said, is hotspot regulation: Additional measures could be implemented in areas where outbreaks are difficult to manage; such as when the health care system is overwhelmed or dangerous new virus variants are found. “I think this is the ideal compromise to get as much normality as possible for people on the one hand, and on the other hand to be able to act when there is actually a specific dangerous situation,” Bushman said.  

In view of the further course of the pandemic and future epidemics, the German government’s Corona Expert Council had called for rapid adaptation of infection control measures. “Speed of response is a decisive factor in the successful control of infectious threats,” according to the panel’s statement, released on Tuesday evening (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 9)

Baden-Württemberg – Corona incidence rises again to over 1500
Stuttgart – The seven-day incidence in Baden-Württemberg of new COVID infections has risen again above the 1500 mark. Within a week, infections with the coronavirus were detected in 1551.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, as the State Health Office announced in Stuttgart on Tuesday (as of 16:00). That was 67.2 more than the previous day. In the previous week, the value had even been almost 200 lower: at 1355.1.  

NON-COVID related news: 

Russia-Ukraine war – State of BW creates space for refugees
Stuttgart – Baden-Württemberg is showing its willingness to help refugees from Ukraine. Migration Minister Marion Gentges (CDU) said on Tuesday, after the cabinet had dealt with the consequences of the war: “Baden-Württemberg will of course take in war refugees. This is an imperative of morality and humanity.” She appealed to the people of Baden-Württemberg: “We will need your help and probably for a long time.”

Refugees from Ukraine fall under the European directive to manage a mass immigration. They do not have to go to an initial reception center, they do not need an asylum procedure, they have access to the labor and housing markets and they receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act.  

As of noon on Tuesday, there were 1,500 Ukrainian refugees in the state’s initial reception centers (Lea),  The ministry does not know how many refugees are in the State. According to current information, many are staying with relatives.  

So far, Baden-Württemberg is not particularly popular as a destination for Ukrainians. as many are drawn to Berlin or Bavaria. The state of Berlin has already asked for help. On Friday, some buses with refugees were announced, but they have not yet arrived in the state. However, she expects the influx to increase. At the same time, it is not yet clear how the people will be distributed, she said. In the initial reception centers in the state in Sigmaringen, Ellwangen, Freiburg and the arrival center in Heidelberg, 2500 additional places have been created since the escalation of the war in Ukraine. In Meßstetten (Zollernalbkreis), a separate arrival center is being built that can accommodate up to 800 refugees from Ukraine.  Should more refugees arrive quickly, the regional councils should already check whether hotels could be rented, as well as accommodating them in churches. For the emergencies, tent accommodations could also be a possibility. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 9)

Böblingen district – First refugees arrived from Ukraine
Böblingen district – For 108 refugees, the majority of them children and young people arrived in the BB district, which provided them a safe haven. 

A bus rolled into Böblingen’s “Wildermuth” barracks (located close-by the Flugfeld in 71034 Boeblingen) in the morning. After a long journey, it brought 73 children and young people between the ages of 3 and 17 from a Ukrainian children’s home to the former barracks site. There, together with four caregivers, they are housed in a building belonging to the Institute for Advanced Police Training, which has used the former barracks for many years.  “In all the suffering, it is wonderful news that we can offer these children a safe place to stay,” said District Administrator Roland Bernhard. On Friday, the decision was made at the district office that the children would be taken in Böblingen. Together with their four caregivers, they had managed to escape to Romania. There, it quickly became clear, they could not stay. The caregivers put out a call for help on Facebook.  How the call reached Böblingen, the district office left unclear on Tuesday, just as where the children come from. The contact came about probably over a Ukrainian, who turned with the request for support to the Ukraine Hotline of the district office. There the wires ran hot in the office for migration, so that the relief action got rolling quickly.

Böblingen’s Lord Mayor Stefan Belz assured on Tuesday rapid assistance for the new arrivals in need of protection. He said it was already clear that clothing for children and young people aged 3 to 17 would be needed in particular, as well as hand and shower towels, backpacks and sports bags. The exact needs and collection locations will be announced as soon as more information is available. 

Refugees from Ukraine also arrived in Schönaich and Hildrizhausen on Tuesday evening. Bela Stahl, an entrepreneur from Ehningen, had driven relief supplies to the Polish town of Chelm for the Sindelfingen initiative “Helping instead of hoarding” and brought back 45 Ukrainian women and their children who are seeking protection. Even a two-month-old baby is among the arrivals.

Some got off in Nuremberg and Stuttgart, so that in the end 16 people arrived in Schönaich and 19 in Hildrizhausen, the majority of whom are children.  Just a few days after the war began, Schoenaich’s Mayor Anna Walther had already initiated the process of checking how many people the community of Schönaich could take in. This process takes some time, but the willingness to help is great: In a little more than a day, so many citizens from the district had volunteered to take in refugees that the group from Ukraine is now taken care of for the time being.

Part of the pool of helpers came together via the homepage of the municipality of Schönaich: Under the keyword “Schönaich solidarisch”, volunteers can come forward to offer accommodation, interpret, organize and support.   In Hildrizhausen, fortunate coincidences and the commitment of dedicated citizens also led to the fact that 19 refugees can now be accommodated there, says Axel Pfriem, who helped organize the relief action. The Binder company from Holzgerlingen provides apartments free of charge that were actually already ready for demolition. The happy coincidence here was that the demolition contractor was Bela Stahl from Ehningen, who organized the transport of the refugees. Initially, independently of this, the decision was made not to demolish the living space, but to make it available for arriving refugees. This happened exactly at the time when Bela Stahl was on his way to Germany with Ukrainian women and their children who were still looking for accommodation.

Within one day, with the help of the Binder company, the Kiwanis Club Böblingen-Sindelfingen and Hans Artschwager, who helped out as the manager of the Waldhaus, the apartments were spruced up. In no time at all, the apartments were furnished with Ikea furniture donated by the company. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 9)

Record fuel prices – This is how much super, E10 and diesel currently cost in Stuttgart
Stuttgart – Drivers are currently having to dig deep into their pockets at the gas station. In Stuttgart and the surrounding area fuel prices at many filling stations have regularly been above two euros per liter for days – regardless of whether it’s super, diesel or E10. This is shown by data from the market transparency office for fuels, to which filling station operators send their prices several times a day.  

On Tuesday afternoon (2 p.m.), individual gas stations in Stuttgart were charging 2.20 euros for a liter of diesel, while the maximum price for Super was 2.18 euros (over $8 per US gallon). At none of the gas stations evaluated was the price for Super, E10 and diesel below 2 euros per liter.   The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the fear of an import stop for Russian oil and thus the basis for fuels are considered to be important reasons for the rising prices. However, prices had already risen before the outbreak of the war, for example, because demand increased in the course of the economic recovery after the pandemic. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 9)

Program for young people in Stuttgart – The “Kleine Schlossplatz” (Center of Stuttgart) is to become a stage
From March 31 to June 28, 2022, the Kleine Schlossplatz will have young people to perform from Thursday to Saturday. The organization will be taken over by the Stuttgart Youth House Society. There will be a two-part program: from 4 to 8 p.m., there will be sports and creative activities there. From 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., concerts and cultural offerings are to take place on a stage, primarily by young up-and-coming Stuttgart bands. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 9)

Editor’s note: Learn more about inclement weather procedures at USAG Stuttgart