Local news translated – Nov. 18, 2022

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Nov. 18, 2022

Change to isolation ordinance:

On Tuesday, 15 NOV 22, B-W amended its ordinance regulating isolation for persons who test positive for COVID-19. The basic rule is that infected persons with symptoms are expected to remain at home and call in sick. But, as of 16 NOV 22, persons who test positive for COVID-19 with either a rapid antigen test or with a PCR test are permitted to leave their dwellings if they wear an FFP2 or similar mask while indoors when physical contact with other persons not of their own households cannot be avoided and when outdoors where social distancing of 1.5 meters is not possible. The requirement to wear a mask outside of one’s own dwelling expires after five days. During the five-day period, infected people are not permitted to enter medical facilities, collective accommodations, or correctional facilities. The German state Schleswig-Holstein implemented a similar measure, which comes into effect today. (B-W/SWR, Nov 17)


New corona rules – Here’s what’s now in effect at schools

Anyone who tests positive for COVID now no longer has to go into quarantine in Baden-Württemberg. That also applies to schools. But Daniel Hager-Mann, the head of office of the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Theresa Schopper (Greens), still strongly recommends: “Anyone who is sick should stay at home.” He writes to schools in the state: students who show symptoms of illness “should refrain from attending school.” This also applies to teachers and – as Hager-Mann points out – “regardless of whether the person is infected with the coronavirus, an influenza virus or another pathogen.” Even those who are positive and show no symptoms can call in sick, the Ministry of Education explains.  Anyone who comes to school COVID positive must wear either a medical mask or an FFP2 mask. This applies indoors “if physical contact with other people cannot be ruled out” and outdoors if the minimum distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained.  Infected people who do not wear a mask are not allowed to come to school. “Participation in attendance is excluded” if the mask requirement is not met, writes the Ministry of Culture. It is irrelevant for what reasons no mask is worn. The ministry advises those infected not to take part in sports lessons. If students still want to participate, they must wear a mask at all times. Singing is allowed indoors with a mask. Playing music with brass instruments is not permitted while wearing a mask. Students who test positive may take exams while wearing a mask. Those who do not wish to do so may be excused. Teachers will decide if tests need to be made up. A positive PCR test or a positive rapid test must be submitted to be excused. A self-test will not suffice.  At special education and guidance centers, mandatory testing will be eliminated, the letter to schools says. But two tests per school week will be offered to students and staff – regardless of whether students and teachers show symptoms. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 17)


New Year’s Eve in Stuttgart – What the city plans for the turn of the year

In Stuttgart, Schlossplatz and areas within the city ring will once again become a prohibited zone for fireworks on New Year’s eve. However, there will be an entertainment program with a laser show and music for 20,000 people. The security concept for this has yet to be coordinated with the police. Whether or not there will be an entry fee has not been determined, yet. How “normal” will New Year’s Eve be this time? After two years of Corona exit restrictions and fireworks sales bans, the signs are generally pointing to relaxation again – but not everywhere. The ban on firecrackers on Schlossplatz is the fourth in a row – and was imposed even before Corona. The area is to be cordoned off with two levels of fences, and a security service will control access. The police will be responsible for monitoring the ban and possible closures on New Year’s Eve.  According to the organizer in Stuttgart, the Prime Orchestra from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv will be there. The program with artists, DJs, video and laser projections as well as food stands is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., admission to the fenced-in Schlossplatz is 7 p.m. After a virtual fireworks display, the event will close at 1 a.m. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 18)


Industrial Metal Union (IG Metall) rally in Sindelfingen – 16,000 demonstrate outside the factory gates

For more than four years, there haven’t been any mass gathering like this at Daimler in Sindelfingen. On Thursday 16,000 Mercedes employees marched to the factory gates to press their current eight-percent demand. And to increase the pressure in the cauldron so that the employers give in. In Ludwigsburg, negotiations with Südwestmetall were held on the same day for the fifth time – and presumably until late in the evening. The mood among the workforce is enormously clear to show the flag, says Tom Wolters, before the three-piece band Cris Cosmo heats up the crowd. When he says it like that, the 33-year-old IG Metall union secretary seems a little taken aback himself. Wolter’s official residence is Stuttgart. “But I’m in Sindelfingen most of the time anyway,” he says: “After all, this is the largest metal-organized company in all of Baden-Württemberg, and we’re proud of that.” Warning strikes at Porsche on Monday, at Bosch in Feuerbach on Tuesday, at Mercedes Untertürkheim on Wednesday – “and this here in Sindelfingen will now be our crowning glory,” beams Wolters. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 18)


Christmas markets in the Böblingen district – Fewer sales booths, more food

The Böblingen “Advent Magic” market traditionally heralds the local season and starts already next Wednesday. But compared to previous years, it will be smaller.  No wonder: The Corona break hit the Christmas merchants and stand operators hard, quite a few gave up.  Now the Böblingen organizers want to make a virtue out of necessity and focus on a rich culinary variety from Swabian, Hungarian and French to Croatian and much more.  As far as the lack of booth operators with crafts and gifts is concerned, Böblingen is in good company. In Stuttgart, too, the Christmas market starts on Wednesday, and here, too, they had to go one size smaller. Whereas in previous years 280 vendors set up their booths, now there are 220 – after all. The mood in Holzgerlingen is almost euphoric. There are no organizational difficulties – “on the contrary, one could almost say that the anticipation for the Christmas market is particularly high this time. 36 participants are registered for December 3 / 4, about the number of 2019.

Christmas Market Dates in the Böblingen district

23-27 November:

  • Böblingen’s Elbenplatz Wednesday to Saturday from 12 to 10 pm, on Sunday from 12 to 8 pm.

26 November:

  • Deckenpfronn  (1 to 8 p.m.)
  • Ehningen  (1 to 9 p.m.)
  • Gärtringen  (12 to 9 p.m.)
  • Gäufelden-Nebringen  (12 to 8:30 p.m.)
  • Hildrizhausen  (12 to 8 p.m.)
  • Jettingen  (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Magstadt (11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
  • Rutesheim  (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • Steinenbronn  (2 to 8 p.m.)

27 November:

  • Bondorf (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

2 – 4 December:

  • Herrenberg (Friday 12 to 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Sindelfingen (Friday 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

3. December:

  • Aidlingen (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Grafenau (from 10 a.m.)
  • Schönaich (1 to 9 p.m.)

3-4 December:

  • Holzgerlingen 3/4. December (Saturday, 3 to 9 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Renningen (Saturday, 3 to 9 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Weil der Stadt (Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

10. December:

  • Waldenbuch (2 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

11. December:

  • Altdorf (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

17-18 December:

  • Weiler Hütte in Schönbuch (Saturday 1 to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

27 Nov – 18 Dec:

  • Leonberg on the lower market square and Kirchplatz: Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 12 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 8 p.m.

(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 18)