• S. Loesser

Aachen decides against curfew - for now

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

So far, the spreading of the Covid-19 coronavirus does not seem to be slowing down: the infection curve continues to rise, in Nordrhein Westfalen – NRW the number of weekly new Covid-19 infections per 100,000 residents is over 195. In many cities and districts the incidence rate is well over 200. In many of these places there are now additional protective measures – often including Ausgangsbeschränkungen (a curfew). However, not in the StädteRegion Aachen.

According to StädteRegion Aachen's figures, since the Sieben-Tage-Inzidenz (seven-day incidence rate) was already higher than the critical rate of 200 on Monday and Tuesday (21 December and 22 December), the city's and StädteRegion's jointly collaborating crisis commitees submitted a general ruling to the state NRW. Among others, it included the plan to implement a curfew from between 09:00-17:00.

In intensive discussions with the Landeszentrum Gesundheit Nordrhein-Westfalen – LZG.NRW (NRW Ministry of Health) it has now jointly been decided that, considering the additional contact restrictions, there won't be an authoritative curfew in Aachen just yet, however, again, an urgent plea to the residents.

The background to the decision is that the Sieben-Tage-Inzidenz, according to the numbers of StädteRegion Aachen, has only risen above the critical rate of 200 on two days (21 December and 22 December) and only very slightly (each with a rate of 201).

"We have consulted intensively and very constructively with LGZ.NRW on this. Due to the fact that the incidence value was only exceeded for a short period of time and was not comparable to the situation in other Kommunen, the decision was made against imposing a curfew due to the massive encroachment on [residents'] fundamental rights, which has always been critically evaluated by the court, especially during the Christmas holidays".

says Städteregionsrat Dr. Tim Grüttemeier. Today, the incidence rate is known to be back to 194.

However, Dr. Tim Grüttemeier agrees with Aachen Oberbürgermeisterin Sibylle Keupen and the LGZ.NRW, that further developments must be monitored very closely.

"We were already above the critical rate and that just before the festive season when there are many more contact moments. The situation in residential and nursing homes and intensive care units in StädteRegion Aachen is also worrying. More than 1,600 people are currently infected in our region. It can by no means be ruled out that the incidence rate will rise further in the near future – especially in view of the upcoming holidays around Christmas."

say Keupen and Dr. Grüttemeier unanimously.

"We agree with the state that if the incidence rate continues to rise, we must and we will take action."

states Grüttemeier.

Furthermore, StädteRegion Aachen council and Keupen made an appeal to all residents:

"Now it is all the more up to each and every one of us. It is a matter of observing all protective measures and limiting contact moments around Christmas as much as possible. The same also applies to participation in church services, which – even if it is difficult – should once again be critically questioned. The situation remains serious and we must all continue to take it very seriously."

Cities and districts in Region Aachen Zweckverband, which is the part of Nordrhein Westfalen that is included in Euregio Meuse-Rhine, that are currently imposing a curfew are Kreis Düren and Kreis Euskirchen.

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