On Monday, the 16 Prime Ministers gave Angela Merkel an ice cold run with her Corona paper. The first suggestions are now coming from Bavaria – for schools, border controls and New Year’s Eve.
Munich – The Germans have not seen the Chancellor as erratic as on Monday evening for a long time. The otherwise sober Angela Merkel got muddled several times. It was a hard day. And God knows not a pleasant one. Her Chancellery started the Corona consultations with a thick package full of measures, most of which were overturned by the Prime Minister. Ultimately, the round was adjourned to November 25th. This time, everyone agrees, the agreement should work better in advance – which is why we talked about individual measures behind the scenes at an early stage.
Nothing is certain yet. But our newspaper has a position paper from the Bavarian State Chancellery that shows where we are headed. It is a basis for the preliminary discussions within the countries, which are likely to drag on until Wednesday. So it is not yet about fixed resolutions, only the Bavarian position. The tightening of the Contact restrictions could therefore be less strict than in the proposal made by the Chancellery on Monday. The reduction to a single contact per household caused widespread displeasure, especially among family representatives (see page 3). Instead, the paper says: “The citizens are called upon to keep the group of people in the other household as constant as possible.” So it is not a prohibition or a requirement, but an appeal.
As expected, she sees one Extension of the partial lockdown before – although the exact date is still open. The paper names several variants: the shortest extension would be December 15th, the longest January 15th. Alternatively, there would be the option of extending the lockdown until shortly before Christmas (December 20th) or shortly after New Year’s Eve (January 2nd).
Stay with the extension Restaurants and cultural institutions further closed. Accommodation offers may only be made available to non-tourist guests. This hits winter sports especially hard. “Christmas vacation should take place at home this year,” is the Bavarian line.
“Christmas vacation should take place at home this year.”
The retail trade, however, remained open. The population is called on to do Christmas shopping during the week in order to avoid the crowds on Advent Saturdays. The paper is even considering the possibility of making shop opening hours more flexible from December 1st. It can be doubted that this will really become the position of the CSU-led government.
In the field of education – if it comes to Bavaria – the previous stipulation remained: Schools and daycare centers stayed open. However, face-to-face teaching should only continue up to the seventh grade and for final grades. “In special infection hotspots, the so-called changeover model is being introduced in all school types from the 7th grade. For the groups to be formed in each class, face-to-face and distance lessons alternate, ”it says. The local health department will decide what an infection hotspot is based on the seven-day incidence. The paper still leaves open the critical value of what a hotspot is.
Also to the Limits should be checked more closely again and compliance with the quarantine regulations monitored. “The Federal Police will therefore increasingly check the evidence of online registration at the border crossings until after the Christmas holidays,” says the paper.
The measures naturally aim to keep the number of new infections down. Merkel * and Söder had clearly set an incidence value of 50 as the target on Monday. So far, a normal Christmas as possible has always been stated as the goal. The paper moves away from this: “This Christmas will not be comparable to previous Christmases. It will only be possible to meet in a small family circle, ”it says. It is already recommended for planning to limit visits to the core family (i.e. grandparents, parents, children), to cancel larger family meetings “and to spend the days before Christmas paying special attention to the general hygiene rules in order to minimize the risk of infection”.
So far, the templates for the meetings had always been created in the Chancellery – and often landed in the press the evening before. As a result, the prime ministers felt increasingly confronted with a fait accompli. This is one of the reasons why the countries now want to become more active themselves. The lead is actually with the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, who is the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Conference. Söder as the representative of the Union-led countries acts as a deputy. The paper should therefore also serve as a working basis for the Union countries. A spokesman for the state government said on request: “There is no authorized paper on possible further measures. In any case, a joint proposal for a resolution would have to come from the federal state of Berlin, which is currently chairing the conference of prime ministers. No such proposal has yet been made. ”