July 24th, 2020: Mask and distance become a habit
Cologne (dpa) - For the overwhelming majority of voters, measures to contain the corona pandemic have now become a habit. Just under 80 percent of those surveyed in the "Deutschlandtrend" on ARD's "Morgenmagazin" television programme said they had kept their distance and got used to wearing a mask. According to this, 19 percent said that this was still difficult for them. Two percent of those questioned said that the measures did not affect them or they did not comply with them.
23 July 2020: Germans are shopping more again
Nuremberg (dpa) - Since 1 July, a lower value added tax has been in force in Germany. The regular rate fell from 19 to 16 percent, the reduced rate from 7 to 5, with the aim of boosting consumption and giving a new boost to the economy in the corona pandemic. In the opinion of the consumption researchers at the Nuremberg-based company GfK, the reduction in VAT has resulted in considerable purchasing incentives. "The propensity to buy has risen very sharply", said GfK consumer researcher Rolf Bürkl when presenting the consumer climate survey for the month of July. Consumers apparently intend to bring forward planned major purchases, which will help consumption this year," said Bürkl.
In addition to the consumer climate, the income expectations of Germans also seem to be improving again - even if expectations are still significantly lower than last year. According to GfK, this is also due to the expected payment of a child bonus. Overall, the state aid would have an enormous cushioning effect. Bürkl also regarded the recently reached compromise at EU level as a strong sign that the public authorities are ready to help.
22 July 2020: Labour market recovery by 2022
Nuremberg (dpa) - The German labour market will take up to three years to recover from the corona crisis. "It will certainly take until 2022 or 2023 before we get back to normal," said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Board of the Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg, in an interview with the German Press Agency. "But we believe that this can be achieved again." Currently, 2.85 million people in Germany are without jobs, almost 640,000 of them as a result of the pandemic.
The current crisis is virus-related and hardly caused by economic or structural factors. It is therefore possible that a recovery will occur if fundamental factors move in the right direction. "At present, we are assuming a downturn that is primarily due to the effects of the pandemic. The labour market was in good shape," said Scheele.
July 21, 2020: New German-Chinese study on antibodies
Essen/Wuhan (dpa) - According to a study, corona patients have in many cases permanently so many antibodies that a renewed infection with the virus can probably be fended off. This is the result of a still unpublished study on 327 Covid-19 patients in Wuhan, China, who are among the first infected people worldwide. In more than 80 percent of the patients, biologically active antibodies capable of rendering the virus harmless were still detected six months after their illness, said virologist Ulf Dittmer, Director of the Institute of Virology at Essen University Hospital.
The study of the German-Chinese joint laboratory in Wuhan involved Chinese experts as well as three virologists from Essen. The results of the study will be presented to a specialist journal for review in the next few days.
July 20th, 2020: More funding for Corona research
Berlin (dpa) - The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has increased funding for coronavirus research. The originally planned funds of 15 million euros have been tripled, Minister Anja Karliczek announced in Berlin on Monday. With now 45 million euros, almost 90 "outstanding projects" are to be funded. These include studies on the efficacy of treating Covid-19 patients with blood plasma from people who have already survived an infection, research into the influence of genetic factors such as blood group on the severity of the disease, and studies on ethical, legal and social issues related to the pandemic.
July 19th, 2020: Less revenue from the truck toll
Berlin (dpa) - The corona crisis leads to less revenue for the state in the truck toll. As the Federal Ministry of Transport announced, toll revenues in the first half of the year fell by 148 million euros to around 3.59 billion euros compared to the same period last year. The background is a decline in truck mileage in view of the corona restrictions. Trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 7.5 tons or more drove around 4.5 percent less on toll roads than in the same period last year. The truck toll applies to motorways and trunk roads. The revenue is used for these federal highways, for example for repairs
July 17th, 2020: Corona-restrictions only narrowly limited
Berlin (dpa) - The German Association of Cities and Towns has welcomed the decision of the federal and state governments to react more precisely to local outbreaks of the corona pandemic in future. "Necessary protective measures and, above all, restrictions on movement must, however, be limited in time and space," said Burkhard Jung (SPD), President of the Association of German Cities and Towns, to the German Press Agency. "In any case, they mean cuts in the daily lives of citizens and restrict basic rights. It is therefore good if we can act as precisely, flexibly and effectively as possible to interrupt chains of infection.
July 16th, 2020: Employees in Germany like home office
Konstanz (dpa) - According to a study by the University of Konstanz, a large proportion of employees in Germany would like to have the opportunity to work in their home office even beyond the corona crisis. 56 percent of those surveyed would like to work at least partly from home in future, write the authors, who are led by economist Florian Kunze. "For many respondents, the desired model is a balanced mixture of home office and presence work." The global corporation Siemens has drawn the first conclusions in this direction. The Managing Board decided that 140,000 employees, half of the global workforce, will work in their home offices two to three days a week in the future. However, there is no right to a home office.
July 15th, 2020: Steinmeier invites to the "digital graduation ceremony 2020”
Berlin (dpa) - As a consolation for the corona-induced parties and balls for school leavers, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier invites to the "digital graduation party 2020". On the Internet site "www.abschlussfeier-2020.de", Steinmeier, his wife Elke Büdenbender and more than 70 celebrities address the approximately 1.9 million school leavers this year who have had to largely forego celebrating due to the pandemic. Starting this Wednesday, they will publish photos from their own school days and short videos with advice for the new phase of life.
"School is now behind you. Be curious about what's coming," Steinmeier advises the graduates. Some things will be more difficult after Corona. "But I want to encourage you: Your knowledge, your skills, your curiosity, your commitment, all that is needed." Under the hashtag "#abschlussfeier2020" young people may post their own articles on social media.
July 14th, 2020: German vaccine developer already very far
Mainz (dpa) - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an accelerated approval procedure for two potential vaccine candidates against coronavirus for the Mainz-based company Biontech and the American group Pfizer. These are the most advanced variants of a potential RNA vaccine called "BNT 162b1" and "BNTb2". For the USA, Biontech and Pfizer recently presented initial results for a drug candidate, specifically for "BNT 162b1". The companies called these results "encouraging", and several experts had also spoken of positive results.
July 13th, 2020: Survey: Germans fear corona spread through holiday travel
Berlin (dpa) - The majority of citizens in Germany fear that summer holidays will cause the number of corona infections to rise again. 69 percent believe that this will lead to a significant increase in the number of infections in Germany, according to the current ZDF "Politbarometer", which was published on Friday. 28 percent said they did not believe that.
July 12th, 2020: Altmaier names criterion for relaxation of mask duty
Berlin (dpa) - Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier has named a criterion for an end to the obligation to wear masks in the retail sector: the decrease in the number of new daily corona infections in Germany to under 100. "As long as we have an average of several hundred new infections every day, it will have to stay everywhere where the minimum distance of 1.5 metres is not observed," the politician told the daily newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". "If we are permanently double-digit in the number of infections, physicians and politicians will have to rethink." On Saturday, the Robert Koch Institute reported 378 new corona infections within one day.