Local news translated – Friday, May 21, 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, May 21, 2021

Dentist must pay high fine for issuing false mask certificates

A dentist from Baden-Württemberg has been ordered to pay a fine of around 21,000 euros for issuing false attestations in connection with mandatory masks. This was announced by the Offenburg public prosecutor’s office. The penalty order requested by it was issued by the responsible judge accordingly and is already legally binding. According to the indictment it concerns “numerous cases”, in which the physician issued wrong certificates. The certificates suggested that the owner was exempt from the mask requirement because of a medical reason. Investigators had already searched the practice of the accused in Offenburg in September last year. The physician was now charged with issuing incorrect health certificates.(Ntv, May 21)

Europa-Park reopens for visitors

Germany’s largest theme park, Europa-Park, has reopened after months of forced Corona break. Around 3000 visitors have the park in Baden-Württemberg to themselves for the opening today and were welcomed with much pomp: Employees stood in line to greet the guests, for whom a red carpet was rolled out especially. According to the Association of German Amusement Parks and Leisure Companies (VDFU), the park is the second classic amusement park in Germany with a concrete opening date. Only Heide-Park in Lower Saxony was able to reopen even earlier: on May 1 after a court decision to that effect.(Ntv, May 21)

Spahn warns about carelessness over Whitsun

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has warned citizens about carelessness over the Whitsun holiday. Despite progress in the vaccination campaign and the fight against the pandemic, it is still necessary to be cautious, Spahn said in Berlin at a press conference on the Corona situation. “The pandemic is not over yet”. He therefore appeals to everyone to continue to adhere to the established rules of protection and precaution over the upcoming holidays.(dpa, May 21)

Federal emergency brake now only effective in a few regions

The number of German regions in which the “federal emergency brake” with stricter pandemic rules continues to apply is steadily decreasing: Of the 412 regions reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 132 (previous day: 153, Wednesday: 201) exceed the 100 mark for the seven-day incidence, which is decisive for the “federal emergency brake,” for at least three days. This corresponds to a share of 32 percent, or still just under one-third of Germany.( Robert Koch Institute, May 21)

Left party wants to compensate young people for hardship

The Left Party wants young people to be compensated for deprivations during the Corona pandemic with free train tickets and discounted concert tickets. “Students, teenagers and young adults have taken a back seat, and they are still doing so,” writes Left Party parliamentary leader Jan Korte in a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, quoted by the Funke newspapers. “I think that this lived solidarity should receive thanks and recognition.” As a sign of appreciation and to compensate for missed experiences, the federal government should set up a bonus program for leisure activities for young people, Korte suggests. Without the pandemic, many young people would have visited friends, celebrated graduations and gone to concerts and festivals in recent years. “They would have had the time of their lives,” the letter says.( Funke Mediengruppe, May 21)

Restaurants complain about openings at too short notice: “In some cases not feasible”.

From the industry’s point of view, it is often not feasible to open the gastronomy sector at too short a notice after a seven-month lockdown. Although one could already assume that the gastronomy could be reopened within ten days and the hotel industry within two weeks, says the president of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga), Guido Zöllick, on ZDF. At present, however, the federal states are acting at much shorter notice. If in some cases only a few days remained, that would not be feasible. “Because restarting operations is one thing. But to win the guests for it, is the other.”

Cinemas plan reopening for July

After a months-long break, German cinemas are preparing to reopen. On July 1, according to the will of several associations, there should be film screenings again in many places. In view of “the progress of the vaccine and the falling infection figures,” the entire cinema industry is ready, according to a statement by HDF Kino and AG Kino, among others. Nationwide, movie theaters have been closed for more than half a year because of the pandemic. In Berlin, the first open-air cinemas are now opening under conditions. The operators hope to be able to show films indoors again soon. This also depends on the infection figures and the regulations of the federal states.(Ntv, May 21)