Local news translated – Oct 22, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Oct 22, 2020

RKI reports 10,000 new infections in one day for the first time

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the number of new infections in Germany has risen to more than 10,000 cases within one day for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the early morning data, 11,287 new cases of infection were recorded the day before. The previous record of 7,830 infections within one day was reported by the RKI on Oct 16. (RKI, October 22)

“The situation has become very serious overall,” says Lothar Wieler, the President of the Robert Koch Institute. He added, “At present we still have a chance to slow down the further spread of the virus. However, this would require consistent adherence to the hygiene rules. (Ard, October 22)

RKI declares Switzerland, Poland, and most of Austria risk areas

The Robert Koch Institute has declared all of Austria, with the exception of Carinthia, a risk area due to the increasing number of new infections. The capital Vienna, Tirol, and Vorarlberg were already designated as such. In addition, the RKI has also designated Switzerland, Poland, and Ireland as risk areas. (RKI, October 22)

Belgian Foreign Minister in intensive care

Belgium’s Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès is in an intensive care unit due to COVID-19. Her condition is stable, but serious. Wilmès, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, had announced over the weekend that she had been infected with the coronavirus. The 45-year-old was admitted to hospital on Oct 20th. (Ntv, October 22)

Bundeswehr soldiers abroad so far not sick

The German Armed Forces have not yet been infected with the coronavirus during foreign missions. An important contribution to this is the strict 14-day isolation of the soldiers before they leave for foreign countries, said the spokesman of the German Society for Military Medicine and Pharmacy, Colonel Kai Schmidt. After the final test with a negative result, the probability of the virus being introduced into the area of operations was close to zero. Upon returning from a mission, the soldiers once again go into quarantine. During operations, contact with people outside the contingent are restricted as much as possible, Schmidt emphasized. (Ntv, October 22)

Germans once again stocking up on essentials

According to official figures, German consumers are increasingly buying hygiene products and certain foods again. As a special evaluation by the Federal Statistical Office revealed, sales of toilet paper in the week from October 12 to 17, 2020 were almost twice as high (plus 89.9 percent) as the average for the pre-crisis months of August 2019 to January 2020. According to the Wiesbaden authorities, sales figures for disinfectants in the week were almost three quarters (plus 72.5 percent) above the pre-crisis average and those for soap were almost two thirds (plus 62.3 percent) above the pre-crisis average. The demand for flour (plus 28.4 percent) and yeast (plus 34.8 percent) also increased significantly according to the statisticians. Politicians and the retail trade repeatedly assure that the supply situation with goods for daily use is secure and consumers do not need to make “hoarding purchases.” (Ntv, October 22)

Stuttgart Airport enters the winter season with fewer destinations

Stuttgart Airport goes into the winter season with almost a third fewer direct destinations than last year. Parallel to the time changeover at the weekend, the new flight schedule will come into effect, the airport announced on Thursday. It lists 61 destinations in 24 countries. This time last year there were there were 87 destinations. “We have fewer direct destinations on the schedule than usual, but the region will remain connected to the world even in winter,” said Managing Director Arina Freitag.

Berlin and Hamburg remain the most important destinations in Germany according to the figures, with Antalya in Turkey and Thessaloniki in Greece among the strongest foreign routes. In addition, the most important European hubs such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London and Paris will continue to be served.

Due to the corona pandemic, the airport reports around one-fifth of the usual passenger volume. “Due to quarantine regulations and warnings, many people are currently avoiding travel,” said Freitag. “It will still take some time before demand picks up again. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, October 22)

Baden-Württemberg under tightened restrictions

Baden-Württemberg has reached the critical value of 50 new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The State government has issued the necessary regulations and taken tougher measures in the past few days, “but that alone is not enough. All citizens must now take responsibility. In concrete terms, this means: reducing contacts by at least half, doing without unnecessary travel, and consistently observing the rules of distance and hygiene.” urged Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) on Tuesday in Stuttgart. In addition to the initial restrictions, there are also bans on alcohol after a certain time. In both the private and public sectors, only a maximum of ten people are now allowed to meet – unless they come from no more than two households. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 22)

What rule applies to private parties?

Due to the increasing number of infections, the rules in Germany have been tightened. For example, according to the Corona ordinance, since October 19, “Private gathering of people is limited to a maximum of ten people or two households” and the number of participants for events is limited to one hundred. For private parties, the number can exceed 10, “if the persons come from not more than two households or if the participants are directly related to each other. I.e. Persons who are related in a straight line, siblings and their children, including their respective spouses, or partners.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 22) 

Travel rules in local risk areas

Traveling has now become quite complicated even within Germany, because there are still different regulations in the Federal States. Basically, travel is not prohibited, but it can be made difficult or impossible by prohibitions on accommodation. However, in the last few days courts have overturned the prohibition of accommodation in several Federal States. Other States have waived the ban on accommodation. Currently, it still applies to Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt and Hamburg. Here one can circumvent the accommodation prohibition with a negative corona test that is no older than two days. However, it is advisable to call the place where you want to stay before you leave. Politicians such as the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, generally advise against unnecessary travel both within Germany and abroad because of the increasing number of new infections. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 22)

Non-Corona News

Clocks fall back one hour on October 25

On Sunday, October 25, clocks in Europe are set back one hour from 3:00 am to 2:oo am.

Tips for keeping glasses fog free

Wearing a mask is especially annoying for people who wear glasses, because the glasses fog up so readily. Here are a few tips to keep a clear view:

  • Rest the edge of the mask under the glasses.
  • Wear the mask snug against your face.
  • Use a mask with a sewn-in wire or metal frame for a closer, more precise fit around your nose.
  • Fold the upper quarter of the mask inwards.
  • Wear glasses further down on the nose.
  • Fold a slim piece of cloth, like a handkerchief, under the upper edge of the mask, which will absorb more of the humid air.
  • Use anti-fogging spray for spectacle lenses. (Swr, October 22)