For eight and a half hours, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of the federal states agreed on restrictions and rules for the coming weeks. The new rules come into force on December 1. As expected, restrictions on social contacts will be tightened except for the time between Christmas and New Years.
The facilitated quarantine is extended until December 20. Accordingly, bars, restaurants, swimming pools, entertainment and cultural institutions will remain closed for the time being.
Restrictions on contacts:
From December 1, it is allowed to meet with members of the same family, and the number of people is limited to a maximum of five people. Children under 14 years old are excluded from this rule. An exception will be made for the Christmas break and New Year’s Eve. On these days, meetings with family members or with ten people from different households are allowed.
The federal and state governments have agreed to postpone the Christmas holidays. They will begin across the country on December 19th.
A nationwide ban will be imposed on the launching of fireworks and petards in busy streets and squares. Regional authorities must advise where the ban will apply.
Health experts as well as representatives of the federal states demanded funding to improve the transport of schoolchildren. The topic of financing hospitals was also hotly discussed. Ultimately, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Conference of Ministers of Health and the Advisory Council will have to negotiate the necessary agreements to improve hospital financing during a pandemic. Also, the ministers of transport of the federal states and the federal ministry of transport will have to come to an agreement on the financing of school buses.
The federal and state governments have agreed that in the epicenters of the coronavirus, where the number of infections has reached more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, students over grade 7 will be required to wear masks during class. The federal government and state authorities have also agreed to introduce blended learning in such regions – that is, the separation of students over 8 grade and teaching in shifts.
Tightening restrictions at the epicenters of the coronavirus:
In regions with a particularly high infection rate, where the incidence exceeds 200 new infections per 100,000 people per week, the restrictions will be drastically tightened.
Relaxation of restrictions:
Countries where the situation is stable and the number of infections has not exceeded 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days should be able to relax restrictions.
Until now, one customer can be located on 10 square meters in all stores. From December 1st, more stringent requirements will be introduced for department stores and shopping centers with a sales area of more than 800 square meters. 1 buyer can be 20 square meters. For all other stores less than 800 square meters, the rule of one customer per 10 square meters still applies.
Travel by train:
During the winter months, only window seats can be reserved on Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance trains. In seats for more than two people, it is only allowed to sit crosswise.
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