Local news translated – Weds, Nov. 24, 2021

HN Update, Nov 24, 2021

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – State parliament allows government to take even tougher measures
Stuttgart – The state parliament has given the state government the green light to take even tougher measures in the fight against the Corona pandemic.

If the measures already taken prove insufficient, further steps will be necessary, according to a motion for a resolution by the government factions, which was passed on Wednesday with the votes of the Greens and the CDU.  The state parliament would give the state government “the necessary means of action to be able to take further protective measures” for this purpose.

This could be, for example, further exit or contact restrictions in private, as well as in public spaces or the prohibition of events. SPD parliamentary group leader Andreas Stoch spoke of a “carte blanche” for the government and criticized a “disempowerment of parliament”. SPD Secretary General Sascha Binder criticized that the decision had not been justified. 

With the Corona ordinance in effect since Wednesday, the government reserves the right to “take further measures in the event of a particularly high incidence of infection, at the latest when the seven-day hospitalization incidence reaches or exceeds the figure of 9.” Specific measures have not yet been included in the regulation. The hospitalization incidence indicates the number of people per 100,000 population who come to a hospital with a corona infection within a week.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 24)

Baden-Württemberg – Where does „2G-Plus“ apply?
Alert level II adds another level with even stricter measures to the state government’s “three-tier protection” concept.

It is in effect as of today and, in addition to the 2G-plus rule, again entails curfews for unvaccinated persons living in particularly high incidence urban and rural districts. If the 7-day incidence is above 500 for two consecutive days, unvaccinated people must stay home from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless they have a valid reason to leave. However, even the vaccinated and recovered face further restrictions in some cases. In many areas, for example, a negative test is now required for them as well.

2G-Plus now applies in the following areas: At theater performances, concerts and other events, visitors who have been vaccinated and have recovered must also possess a negative test certificate. In Discotheques and clubs, the 2G-plus rule also applies at alert level II.  At indoor gyms, the simple 2G rule applies. Outdoor sports continue to be 3G with mandatory PCR testing for the unvaccinated.  There is also no 2G-plus rule for barbers/hairdressers. In fact, an exception is made for hair salons and barbershops, where the 3G rule with mandatory PCR testing for the unvaccinated continues to apply. 

Even in restaurants, the simple 2G rule remains in place indoors, with no proof of testing. Outdoors, 3G with PCR testing applies even in Alert II.  In retail, the 3G rule generally applies at alert level II. In rural and urban counties with a 7-day incidence of more than 500, it is tightened to the simple 2G rule. In both cases, basic service stores and pick-up and delivery services are excluded.  For the 2G-Plus rule, vaccinated and recovered individuals need either a rapid test or a PCR test. Self-tests are not sufficient.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 24)

3-G checks in retail – Here’s how the first day of the alert went in Stuttgart city center
At the booths in front of the ice rink, the day’s business begins. At the entrance a sign, which states: “Wearing a VIP wristband is cool”.

Anyone who wants to get in has to prove that they have been vaccinated or have recovered, then they get a wrist band, and can get a bit in the mood of pre-Christmas. The 2-G rule applies and is consistently checked. Not all, but many of the stores along Königstraße have prepared thoroughly for the alert level. At the entrance of the shoe store Görtz, there is one of their employees checking proof of whether patrons are either vaccinated, recovered or tested.

Retailers are still subject to 3-G, and the many exceptions for basic supply stores can make it difficult to keep track of everything. The Görtz store management took a short tour in the morning to get an overview of how colleagues deal with the alert level, the employee says. The impression was that a number of them were checking, but for some the alert level did not seem to have been heard yet. 

At the entrance to Galeria Kaufhof, an employee randomly checks the customers entering the store. “People often come in on their own and show proof, so I don’t even have to ask,” she says of the first hour of her rather unfamiliar job that day. At the neighboring Sport Scheck or at Peek & Cloppenburg a few meters down the pedestrian zone, there are seamless checks, in some cases by specially hired outside companies. “Everything is fine, everything is going wonderfully,” says the Sport Check employee. “But we’re also in the middle of the week, it’s not Black Friday and not Advent Saturday,” says his colleague from the clothing store, somewhat qualifying the initial alarm impressions. 

In the Königsbau arcades with the many basic supply exceptions, the situation is somewhat more difficult, but controls are also largely consistent there, for example at Saturn, where no one is allowed in without proof. And those without proof can go directly to the test station on the third floor. There, shortly before lunchtime, many people are already waiting in a long line to be tested. A man at the end of the line came here planned. He plans to travel in the next few days and simply wants to know, for his own safety and the safety of others, that he is not infected. For that, he is happy to accept the wait. 

It will show in the next few days how the alert level will affect trade in the city. Restaurants, on the other hand, for which 2-G now applies indoors, is suffering. “There are far too few people coming,” says one trendy restaurateur, who has just come from his booster shot and whose venues are extremely popular in normal times, describing the situation he said: “Corona really ticks me off!” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 24)