The candidate for the CDU chairmanship, Friedrich Merz, has urgently warned the federal and state governments against maintaining the corona-related restrictions over Christmas. “You can say in mid-November that Christmas can take place in families,” he told Tagesspiegel. “It is none of the government’s business how I celebrate Christmas with my family.”
Merz is clearly against maintaining private contact restrictions for Christmas. When he speaks in the context of the state, he also means Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and his rival for the CDU chairmanship, the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU), since Merz from the Sauerland region lives in the state – all Corona – Resolutions are implemented again individually by the state governments.
Before the federal / state consultations by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the heads of government of the 16 federal states on Wednesday, Merz called for a longer-term strategy (Here are the results of the last meeting).
However, he was skeptical about the larger gatherings of people at the turn of the year. “New Years Eve parties cannot take place. That too could be said in mid-November. ”As a citizen of this country, he would like to have“ a little more horizon in terms of timing ”.
Breakwater shutdown has only a limited effect
The one actually limited to the end of November So-called “breakwater” – lockdown with the closure of leisure and cultural facilities, pubs and on-site operation in restaurants was also justified by the fact that the increase in the number of infections could be broken and a reasonably normal Christmas in the family could be made possible. However, it is foreseeable that the limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants mentioned by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) within seven days in many regions cannot be reached by then – and the debates have been heated for weeks.
Merkel recently emphasized that this value is a long way off, “at which we consider the infection process to be understandable for the health authorities.” A crucial task will be the containment of the infection rate in schools. Merz suggests use of currently largely closed hotels in order to straighten out school operations and maintain it despite the high number of infections. “You could move to hotels or other large rooms, and the schools could offer time-shifted lessons.” According to experts, split classes or alternating lessons are an option.
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Nationwide, 21736 intensive care beds are already occupied, 3628 of them with Covid-19 patients, there are currently around 6200 free intensive care beds. In order not to end up in situations like in Switzerland with almost complete occupancy and difficult ethical decisions, the federal and state governments are considering continuing the current restrictions until at least December 20, in particularly affected regions such as Berlin possibly beyond New Year’s Eve.
In addition, the contact restrictions could be tightened – but especially at Christmas, family celebrations usually involve more than two households, often four, five or more.
Head of the Chancellery: Grandparents should be there
Chancellery chief Helge Braun (CDU) urged further caution, but also emphasized that lonely Christmas should be avoided: “It is inconceivable for me that the grandparents do not celebrate at Christmas,” Braun told the “editorial network Germany”.
More important than the number of people who get together is that you reduce your contacts beforehand and make sure that nobody has symptoms. He himself celebrates Christmas “like every year in a very small family circle”. There will be no New Year’s Eve party. It is not the right time to celebrate New Year’s Eve. “That won’t be possible this winter.”
He referred to the situation in Switzerland. There, depending on age and previous illnesses, it will now be decided who will receive priority treatment. “There is a broad consensus in society that we want to avoid that,” said Braun.
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Survey: Citizens worry about lonely festival
A Forsa survey on behalf of the commercial health insurance company showed that 54 percent of the 1000 respondents are afraid that a family member will have to spend Christmas in bed or in a clinic. 41 percent fear that they will have to celebrate the festival in a small group or alone. And 23 percent worry that they will not be able to travel to the festival.