ZThere is a dispute between Frankfurt and the state government: The reason is the question of how many spectators can be there on Saturday at Eintracht Frankfurt’s friendly against Saint-Étienne. While the local health department, as reported, had agreed with the association on 10,000 including a hygiene concept, the Ministry of Social Affairs only wants to allow half. Eintracht legal advisor Philipp Reschke announced on Monday that if the health department changes its decision as expected, the association will have it checked by the administrative court in an urgent procedure – also with a view to the first division season starting in mid-August. Such a limitation is neither justified on the basis of the regulations nor suitable to achieve the goal of better infection protection, said Reschke of the FAZ
The conflict is about the importance of the limit value of 35 for the incidence, i.e. the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. Frankfurt has been hovering around this value for days, on Monday it reached 36.7. The ministry asserted an agreement for the ban that the heads of the state chancelleries had reached in early July. Above all, this should enable fans to gradually return to the stadiums in the supposedly subsiding pandemic. In these “guidelines for major sporting events with a transnational character and for other major events” it is stated that at the moment, with an incidence below 35, it is possible to use up to 50 percent of the stadium capacity, up to a maximum of 25,000 spectators. The “clarification” distributed on Sunday by the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs indicates that more than 5000 fans should not be allowed in if the incidence at the venue is over 35 and the infection rate cannot be clearly delimited. Contrary to the opinion of the Frankfurt Health Department, the upper limit of 5000 applies in absolute terms, so people who have not recovered or who have been twice vaccinated could not be added. This regulation between the countries is unmistakable and follows the guiding principle that opening steps should always be taken “prudently and always with a view to the current development of the pandemic”.
No freedom for vaccinated people
Eintracht Frankfurt asserts that if 5,000 spectators, who would have to show a negative test result, and another 5,000 who have recovered or have been vaccinated twice, come together in the stadium with a seating capacity of around 48,000, the risk of infection is extremely low or such an encroachment on civil liberties is disproportionate . In an open letter on Monday, Frankfurt’s Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD), against the background of the Eintracht game, called on the state government to reconsider the restrictions on major events – and thus create additional incentives for vaccination. Vaccinated and convalescent people must be allowed access to events beyond the respective maximum limits.
Frankfurt’s health department head Stefan Majer (The Greens) was annoyed by the ministry’s “clarification”: “We have done everything to proceed correctly.” according to the guideline decision do not have to be included. A procedure that Majer still considers “right on the matter” – as long as a good hygiene concept is in place and the total number of spectators is only increased from game to game. In his opinion, interpreting the clues more strictly can have a devastating signal effect. It is difficult enough to convince people who have not yet been vaccinated to get immunized. Majer fears that some will back down again. Because the argument that a return to a kind of normalcy is possible through full vaccination protection can hardly be sustained.