Local news translated – Wednesday, May 27, 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 27, 2021

Opening of gastronomy in Stuttgart – Many innkeepers start with their own test station
Today the reopening of restaurants starts and most innkeepers in the city are prepared. The access procedure should be as uncomplicated as possible for guests. Many restaurateurs therefore offer a test directly at the premises. What this looks like in detail varies greatly and also depends on whether the restaurants are located in the city center or in the city districts. And, not all establishments can start right away on the first day. The brand-new Wirtshaus Lautenschlager, for example, plans to open on June 1.

Whether it’s the Palace of the Republic, the beer garden at the Schlossgarten, or Tschechen & Söhne on the Karlshöhe: Anyone who hasn’t done a quick test in a center or pharmacy on the same day anyway can do so here in the tent in front of the entrance. Other innkeepers set up containers or set up test windows.

In the future, some of the staff will conduct and certify free quick tests in the containers – guests have to wait fifteen minutes for the result, then they can go eat. Some other restaurants for example, Wietmanns Waldhaus at Heslach charges his guests seven euros for the test service; however, he points out that the test station at nearby Westbahnhof conducts free tests, even on Sundays. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 26)

Coronavirus in the Stuttgart region – also in regions around Stuttgart Corona restrictions are easing up
Just a few weeks ago, the seven-day incidence values in the Stuttgart Region were always well above 100, in some cases even above 200 – and now some counties around the state capital are even approaching the 50 mark. The district of Böblingen, where relaxations have been in place for a good week and a half, even fell below the 50 on Tuesday (with a seven-day incidence of 43.)

However, in other counties, the numbers are falling, as well. Therefore, the federal “emergency brake” will be lifted in the coming days. The nightly curfew will be lifted, restaurants and pubs will be allowed to reopen, open-air swimming pools, as well as hotels and other lodging establishments will be able to receive guests again, hairdressers will be allowed to cut hair without customers having to present a negative test, stores will be able to offer “Click and Meet” again. 

In the Goeppingen district, the easing of restrictions will apply as of May 27. And, while in the district of Böblingen, among other things, wristbands are used to prove that someone has tested negative for Corona, in Göppingen they are relying primarily that people use the “Luca app.” This will enable pubs and other businesses to record and track contacts in the future. The situation is quite similar in the Esslingen district, where relaxations will come into effect on Friday, May 28. There, too, they are appealing to establishments and guests to use the Luca app as well as the Corona warning app. With the consistent use of the apps, the “paper waste” in stores, restaurants and other establishments could come to an end, says Peter Freitag, the head of health at the Esslingen district office.   The greatest confusion is currently still in the Ludwigsburg district: the district office assumes that the first relaxation stage will also take effect there on Monday, May 31 or not until June 2 because the incidence must be below 100 for five consecutive working days. 

Meanwhile, the Böblingen district office will announce before the weekend when the next easing of restrictions will come into effect. Namely, if a city or a district is below 50 on five consecutive days, ten people from three households are allowed to meet again. In addition, according to the country’s second stage of opening, theaters, cinemas and concert halls, among others, could reopen. (Stgt Nachrichten, May 26)

Böblingen district: Further relaxations as of June 1
14 days after stage 1, the next relaxations take effect on Tuesday, June 1. With Boeblingen below the 50 mark, the district can take the second step of the opening concept in view of constantly sinking numbers. At the same time, falling below the next mark of 50 on five consecutive working days is coming within reach. As of Tuesday, there will be further relaxations.  The State’s staged concept calls for a county or city to move to Stage 2 after 14 days, when the incidence has steadily continued to fall. Starting from May 17, when one had entered stage 1, the 14 days in the Böblingen district will be over on May 31. “We are happy about the further relaxations that become possible with a falling incidence number,” explains District Administrator Roland Bernhard. “Why our numbers are so good is ultimately open to speculation; but we are proud of our excellent testing concept and good network of testing sites.” On Monday, May 31, it will be determined that the new deadline has passed; as of Tuesday, June 1, the new regulations will come into force (BB.heute.de, May 27)

Travel during Corona
Vacations abroad in most cases will require a PCR or comparable test. However, this can bring a big hole in the vacation budget. According to the German Automobile Club (ADAC), the cost of a PCR test, with the result available within 24 hours, averages €69 at German airports. The faster the result should be available, the more expensive the tests are. A premium test with evaluation within one hour can cost up to €249. In addition, Germany also requires proof of testing when entering the country from many other countries. Although the costs vary from country to country, you should expect to pay between €100 and €200 per head for the required tests.  Unlike the rapid antigen tests (citizen tests), PCR tests or other nucleic acid detections are not free of charge.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the costs are not covered after entry from a risk area, high incidence area or virus variant area. This applies to both mandatory testing upon entry and voluntary testing for early termination of quarantine. In principle, the costs for a PCR test are only covered if a doctor or the health office advises it, according to the German government. For this, certain criteria such as typical symptoms of the disease or contact with infected persons must be given. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 26)