Local news translated – Oct. 25, 2022

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

Host Nation Update, Oct. 25, 2022

Long Shopping Night in Stuttgart on Sat, 5 November
Stuttgart will offer visitors something very special on Saturday, November 5, as part of the Long Shopping Night. While the stores are open until 10 p.m., there will also be a supporting program. "Instead of the illumination of the Königsbau” there will be a so- called energy dance floor, which will be the central focal point in the heart of the center,” says City Manager Sven Hahn. “In the wake of the energy crisis and the associated cost-cutting measures, we as City-Initiative Stuttgart decided to set an example.” Instead of consuming electricity with the large illumination, they will produce electricity with the dance floor, he said. The idea was copied from the band Coldplay. The British musicians currently lay out a special floor at their concerts to convert the energy generated by dancing into green electricity. In Stuttgart, the Long Shopping Night will feature around 70 square meters of dance floor in front of the Art Museum on Schlossplatz. Various dance groups will be performing on the area from 12 noon. In addition, small workshops and dance competitions are planned. There will also be a roller skating rink on Schlossplatz, which will replace the ice rink this year. And it is also clear that on November 5, buses and trains of the Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund Stuttgart (VVS) can be used free of charge in Zone 1. “Guests coming from other zones simply buy one zone less,” says Sven Hahn. He naturally hopes that this will attract even more people from Stuttgart and the region to the city center. (Stgt Nachrichten, Oct 25)

370 police officers on duty – police checks in Boeblingen and Ludwigsburg
According to the police on Saturday, about 370 police officers were on the road since Friday morning to check, among other things, restaurants and casinos and to control at train stations, in residential areas, public places and the highway. Officers of the Federal Police were also on duty. The officers uncovered various violations, including violations of the Narcotics or Weapons Act, forgery of documents and the Prostitution Protection Act. A restaurant was closed due to labor law violations. A total of 18 people were arrested. During a check in Ludwigsburg, an officer was assaulted. The background to the large-scale operation had been to combat crime in public spaces. The action had been organized for this year's search and security day at the Ludwigsburg police
headquarters. (Stgt Nachrichten, Oct 25)

Christmas markets in the Esslingen district
The frustration of everyone was huge, when last year the Esslingen Christmas and Medieval Market had to be cancelled again. “This year, The Christmas market is planned intensively. The applicant situation is very good.” In view of the pandemic situation, however, there will be no indoor events this year, such as the fairy tale tent. But otherwise the guests can look forward to about 180 booths and a Christmas market like in the pre-COVID years. Date: November 22 to December 22. Kirchheim is not quite so optimistic in view of the high infection figures in the Esslingen district. Kirchheim-Info and the city administration are planning a pre-Christmas hustle and bustle from December 8 to 18, however, it will be a decentralized concept with several different, smaller Christmas market locations. In Ostfildern, the Christmas markets in Ruit (November 26), Scharnhausen ( November 27), Nellingen ( December 3) and Scharnhauser Park (December 10) are to go ahead without restrictions. The city has not imposed any conditions on the organizers Nürtingen is also planning its Christmas village from December 2 to 11 around the town church. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 25)

A8 near Leonberg – Autobahn fully closed after serious accident
On the A8 near Leonberg in the district of Böblingen, there was a serious accident on Tuesday morning involving several vehicles and apparently at least one person was seriously injured. The Autobahn has to be fully closed for a short time for the accident investigation and recovery. (Stgt Nachrichten, Oct 25)

Health Ministers’ conference on Mask wear indoors

Germany’s federal and state health ministers decided during their conference yesterday, 24 OCT 22, to take a unified approach to mandatory mask wear indoors. Saxony-Anhalt’s Health Minister Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD) told journalists that the ministers established a working group to clarify, “how, for example, mandatory mask wear indoors could be implemented [and] which thresholds should apply.” A spokesperson said that the group will convene on 09-10 NOV 22 to deliberate on the issue and to determine to what extent the seven-day hospitalization rate should be considered as a threshold. The Health Ministers agreed that mandatory mask wear in local public transportation should continue. (SWR, Oct 24)
STIKO sees no reason to expand second Booster recommendation
Germany’s Standing Immunization Commission (STIKO) reaffirmed its recommendation that people over 60 years old and those with pre-existing conditions should get a second booster vaccination. STIKO Chair Thomas Mertens said that STIKO sees no reason to expand its recommendation and does not plan to do so, adding that “It has been shown that vaccination does not offer any long-lasting protection against a coronavirus infection, although certainly against a severe course [of disease].” It is not conceivable to regularly vaccinate the broad population to prevent infection. Everyone will foreseeably get infected from time to time. Mertens reckons on a rise in infection rates into December. (tagesschau, Oct 24)