06.01.2021: Lockdown is tightened - movement restrictions in hotspots
Berlin (dpa) - Tighter restrictions are coming for people in the Corona pandemic. The goal is to reduce the number of infections with the virus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the heads of state governments agreed on Tuesday to extend the lockdown rules, originally agreed until January 10, until the end of the month. In addition, meetings in the future are to be possible only with a person who is not part of the state's own household. The states are to limit the movement radius of citizens to 15 kilometers around their homes for counties where more than 200 people per 100,000 inhabitants have been newly infected within seven days.
The measures at a glance:
CONTACTS: Contact restrictions will be tightened. In future, meetings beyond one's own household will only be allowed with one other person.
COMPANY CANTINES: Company canteens will at most still be allowed to offer take-away food and drinks.
MOBILITY: In counties where more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants have been reported within seven days, people should not be allowed to travel more than 15 kilometres from their place of residence without a valid reason. "Day-trip excursions explicitly do not constitute a valid reason."
VACCINATIONS: By mid-February at the latest, all residents of residential care facilities should be able to get vaccinated. About four million vaccine doses are expected to have been delivered by 1 February.
CHILD SICKNESS PAY: Normally, each parent receives child sickness pay for up to ten working days per year, single parents for up to 20 days. Temporarily, the period is to be increased to 20 or 40 days. The entitlement also applies if the child cannot go to school or day care because of Corona.
ENTRY: In future, anyone entering the country from a foreign risk area must be tested on entry or in the 48 hours prior to entry. The obligation to undergo a ten-day quarantine, which can be terminated from the fifth day onwards by a negative test, remains in place.
What else applies...
RETAIL TRADE: The retail trade remains closed. Exceptions will be made for shops that cater for daily needs. These include: Grocery shops, weekly markets, pick-up and delivery services, beverage markets, health food stores, baby stores; pharmacies, medical supply stores, drug stores, opticians, hearing aid acousticians, gas stations, car repair shops, bicycle repair shops, banks and savings banks, post offices, dry cleaners, laundromats, newspaper sales, pet supplies, feed markets, Christmas tree sales and wholesale.
SCHOOLS: Schools will generally remain closed or compulsory attendance will be suspended. Emergency care will be provided and distance learning will be offered. Separate arrangements may apply to graduating classes.
KITAS: Day care centres also remain closed in principle. Additional opportunities will be created for parents to take paid leave to care for children during the specified period.
WORKPLACE: Employers are urged to consider whether businesses can be closed either through company holidays or generous home office solutions.
ALCOHOL: Drinking alcoholic beverages in public places will be prohibited. Violators will be fined.
FRISURES: Personal care service businesses such as hairdressing salons, beauty salons, massage practices, tattoo studios and similar businesses shall be closed.
EMERGENCY TREATMENTS: Medically necessary treatments, for example physiotherapy, occupational therapy and logotherapy as well as podiatry/foot care remain possible.
Worship services: Worship services in churches, synagogues and mosques as well as meetings of other religious communities are only permitted if the minimum distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained. Masks are compulsory even in the square, congregational singing is prohibited. If full attendance is expected, visitors should register.
CARE FOR THE OLD: Staff in residential care and nursing homes must be tested several times a week. In regions with elevated case rates, visitors must present a negative coronatests.
NEXT STEPS: On 25 January, the federal and state governments want to consult again.
05.01.2021: Poll: Large majority in favour of extending the lockdown
Berlin (dpa) - A large majority of Germans are in favour of extending the lockdown to contain the Corona pandemic. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, almost two-thirds of the respondents were in favour of continuing the restrictions beyond 10 January, at least with the same severity as before. 41 per cent are in favour of keeping them unchanged, and another 24 per cent are even in favour of tightening them. In contrast, only 17 percent are in favour of easing the lockdown and only one in ten (11 percent) is in favour of lifting all restrictions completely. Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with the state premiers in Berlin this Tuesday to discuss an extension of the lockdown.
04.01.2021: Retail fears wave of bankruptcies if lockdown lasts longer
Berlin (dpa) - Retailers do not expect a quick end to the corona-induced shop closures in Germany and fear the end for tens of thousands of shops. "I fear that the shops will not yet be allowed to reopen on 10 January. Because the goal of reducing the 7-day incidence nationwide to below 50 will probably not be achieved by then," says the CEO of the German Retail Association (HDE), Stefan Genth. The decision on the extension of the restrictions will be made on Tuesday.
03.01.2021: Federal states: lockdown to be extended
Berlin (dpa) - An extension of the Corona restrictions beyond 10 January seems certain - but the duration and above all the question of what will happen to day-care centres and schools is still open. This was the state of play at a conference of the heads of the state chancelleries on Saturday. On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers will decide on the extension. The meeting of the heads of the state chancelleries served as preparation.
02.01.2021: Tui expects tourism boom after vaccination launch
Hanover (dpa) - Europe's largest tourism group Tui expects a strong revival of the travel market, which collapsed in the Corona crisis, this year. "We expect a summer that is already largely normal," Tui CEO Fritz Joussen told the newspaper Rheinische Post. However, he added, "we will only offer around 80 per cent as many air tours as in the years before the Corona crisis in order to achieve optimum capacity utilisation." He said the company was offering most of its tours at the same prices as in 2020 and 2019, but holidaymakers were spending more on travel when booking.
01.01.2021: Merkel: There was never so much hope
Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has continued to call for cohesion in the fight against the coronavirus in the New Year, emphasising hope through gradual vaccination. "It will be up to all of us for quite some time how we get through this pandemic," the CDU politician said in her New Year's address, according to text circulated in advance. "The most effective means besides the vaccine are in our own hands, by following the rules, each and every one of us." The Chancellor also made a "personal" comment about this being "in all likelihood" her last New Year's address. She will not stand again in the federal election on 26 September 2021. "I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that never in the last 15 years have we all found the old year so difficult - and never have we looked forward to the new year with so much hope, despite all the worries and some scepticism," Merkel said, looking back on her time in office.
31.12.2020: Biontech boss: clarity on vaccine production quantities by the end of January
Mainz (dpa) - Biontech boss Ugur Sahin expects the company to have clarity on further production quantities for the Corona vaccine by the end of January. "We are trying to find new cooperation partners to produce for us. But it's not as if there are specialised factories standing around unused all over the world that could produce vaccine of the necessary quality overnight," Sahin, 55, told Der Spiegel. "At the end of January, we will have clarity on whether and how much more we can produce."
30.12.2020: Schäuble: Don't snatch vaccine from poorer people
Berlin (dpa) - Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble has rejected accusations that the federal government has not secured enough Corona vaccine doses for Germany. "I can understand the criticism, but I still think it is wrong," Schäuble told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. "We cannot make our impatience the measure of all things and snatch the vaccine away from people in poorer regions of the world."
29.12.2020: Spahn expects German vaccine production
Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn expects the amount of Corona vaccine available in Germany to grow significantly in the first months of the new year. He justified this with the approval of further preparations and expanded production capacities. Spahn referred in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin" to a plant of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis in Marburg, which was taken over by the Mainz-based company Biontech. According to Biontech, some adjustments are necessary in Marburg before production of the Covid 19 vaccine can start there as well. A spokeswoman for the company said that this should start in February. The company is targeting the release of the first vaccine produced there for the end of March. In the first half of 2021, 250 million vaccine doses are to be produced there. The Mainz-based company is aiming for a total annual production of 750 million doses.