• S. Loesser

Bundes-Notbremse now implemented, also in StädteRegion Aachen

Following the Bundestag’s (German federal government) decision, the participation of the Bundesrat (Federal Council) and the Bundespräsidenten’ (federal president) signature, the amended Bundes-Infektionsschutzgesetz (federal infection control act) was announced in the Bundesanzeiger (federal gazette) on Thursday (22 April 2021). It entered into force yesterday, Friday 23 April 2021, and the regulations of the Bundes-Notbremse (as Meuse-Rhine Gazette reported) (federal emergency brake) take effect from today, Saturday 24 April 2021.


The Bundes-Notbremse applies automatically in all Landkreise (rural districts) and kreisfreie Städte (urban districts) which have a seven-day incidences rate of more than 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants (according to data from the Robert Koch-Institut – RKI) on three consecutive days.


Stadt Aachen and StädteRegion Aachen’s crisis management teams noted that the decisive seven-day incidence rate, as determined by the RKI for the StädteRegion Aachen, was as follows:

  • 20 April: incidence rate of 147

  • 21 April: incidence rate of 136

  • 22 April: incidence rate of 152

The crisis management teams have thus established that the regulations from the Bundes-Infektionsschutzgesetz, which apply above an incidence rate of 100, will also apply in the entire StädteRegion Aachen from today, Saturday, 24 April 2021, 00:00. The regulations that apply from an incidence rate of more than 150 or 165 on three consecutive days do currently not apply in StädteRegion Aachen.


In the following an overview of the central regulations when a seven-day incidence rate of more than 100 is reached.

Image: © Bundesregierung 2021


Private contacts

Private contacts are restricted to meetings with one household and one additionally person from another household (not counting children up to the age of 14). For the first time in North-Rhine Westphalia – NRW, this contact restriction is also binding in private spaces.

This passage also stipulates that a maximum of 30 persons may be present at funerals.


Freedom of assembly (right to demonstrate) and assemblies that serve the practice of religion do not fall under the contact restrictions.


Curfew

There is now a curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 with the exception that "outdoor physical activity alone" (jogging, walking) remains permitted from 22:00 to midnight. There are narrow exceptions to the curfew such as medical emergencies. Also the visit to the vaccination centre in order to receive the corona vaccination counts as an exception.


Retail sector for daily needs

As retail stores for daily needs count grocery stores, chemist’s, pharmacies, beverage shops, health food shops, baby shops, medical houses, opticians, hearing aid acousticians, petrol stations, newspaper and book shops, flower shops, animal feed markets, garden markets and wholesale trade. Here, a maximum of one customer per 20 square metres is permitted.


Remaining retail industry

The opening of shops and markets is prohibited. The collection of pre-ordered goods (Click & Collect) remains possible in all shops.


If the incidence rate is not above 150, it is possible to shop in all other stores with an appointment (Click & Meet). However, this is then only possible with a confirmed negative corona test, which must not be older than 24 hours. Contact details must also be provided. Here, a maximum of one customer per 40 square metres is permitted.

In all shops, the well-known obligation to wear an FFP2 mask (or comparable) or alternatively, a medical mask, does apply.


Sport

Sport (with the exception of professional sport) is only permitted as non-contact exercise of individual sports alone, in pairs or with members of one's own household.

For children up to the age of 14, a maximum limit of five children applies when practising non-contact sports outdoors. If a coach is present, he/she requires a confirmed negative corona test, which must not be older than 24 hours.


Culture and leisure sector

The cultural sector remains completely closed – this also applies to all museums without exception. The only exception is drive-in cinemas.

The entire leisure sector, from amusement parks to baths of all kinds, the wellness sector, brothels, betting companies, to city tours and leisure boating, is prohibited.

However, it is possible to visit the outdoor areas of zoological and botanical gardens, but this requires a recognised and confirmed negative corona test, which must not be older than 24 hours.


Close contact services

Services where physical proximity to the customer is indispensable remain prohibited. Exceptions are medical, therapeutic and nursing services as well as hairdressing and chiropody. However, FFP2 masks (or comparable) must be worn. Clients who wish to use the services of a hairdresser or chiropodists must present a confirmed negative corona test, which must not be older than 24 hours.


Gastronomy

Public houses and restaurants remain closed. Delivery or the collection of food remains permitted.


Schools

With an incidence rate of more than 100, schools automatically change into an alternation of face-to-face and distance learning.


If the seven-day incidence rate rises to more than 165, the schools go into full distance learning. According to the relevant RKI figures, this is not yet the case in the StädteRegion.

The crisis management teams point out that there can be no longer-term planning in the coming week. The law clearly stipulates that if the incidence rate of 165 is exceeded for three consecutive days, full distance learning is mandatory.


The law stipulates that day care centres and day care for children are to be treated in the same way as schools. If the seven-day incidence rate rises to more than 165 on three consecutive days, the day-care centres go into emergency operation accordingly. According to the relevant RKI figures, this is not yet the case. Again, here the respective crisis management teams point out that there can be no longer-term planning in the coming week.


In addition, it has been decided to extend the children's sick pay for legally insured employees by 10 additional days, and for single parents by 20 days, so that they can take care of their children at home during pandemic-related school or day-care centre closures. The entitlement exists regardless of whether the work can in principle also be done in the home office.


Public transport

For passengers on public transport, masks FFP2 or comparable are mandatory.


Tourism

Tourist accommodation is prohibited.


Work

Employers are required to offer their employees the opportunity to work from home, unless there are compelling operational reasons not to do so. Employees must accept this offer unless there are reasons for them not to do so.


If the seven-day incidence rate in a region falls below 100 for five consecutive working days, the restrictions are lifted on the day after next. The legal Notbremse is limited until 30 June 2021.

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