• S. Loesser

Bundesregierung corrects decision about Ruhetage at Easter

The Regierungschefinnen und -chefs der Länder (federal states’ heads of government) had agreed on Monday 22 March, among other things, on a Ruhezeit (resting time) over Easter, which should include Maundy Thursday (1 April) and Holy Saturday (3 April) [as Meuse-Rhine Gazette reported]. Only grocery stores were to be open on Holy Saturday. This part of the decision has now been withdrawn as has been announced by the Bundesregierung.

"We must succeed in slowing down the pandemic’s third wave at all costs,"

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel emphasised in another press conference this Wednesday [24 March 2021]. It was with this best intention that the decision about the Ruhetage (rest days) at Easter was taken, she says.

"Nevertheless, the idea of the Osterruhe (Easter resting time) was a mistake,”

Merkel announced in a press statement. The questions associated with this decision could not be answered satisfactorily within such short notice – from continued pay for the lost working hours to the situation in shops and businesses. Preparations for the additional Osterruhe would therefore be stopped.

"A mistake must be named as a mistake and, above all, it must be corrected,"

Merkel responded to government questioning in the Bundestag this Wednesday. Merkel deeply regrets the uncertainties that the discussion about the Ruhetage has caused.

"For this I ask all residents for forgiveness."

Photo: Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel this Wednesday during the government questioning in the Deutsche Bundestag. © Bundesregierung 2021

The Bundeskanzlerin thanked everyone

"whose behaviour is helping to slow down and stop the third wave with the deadlier and more contagious corona virus."

Even without the Osterruhe, the decision made on Monday 22 March, provides a framework for this, with its regionally differentiated measures – depending on the infection situation.

Merkel is convinced:

"We will defeat the virus together. The road is hard and rocky. It is marked by successes, but also by mistakes and setbacks. But the virus will lose its terror.”

It is important to note that all other decisions are still valid. For example, private gatherings are still only allowed with a maximum of five people from two different households, children up to 14 years of age excluded.

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