• S. Loesser

Enjoying the sun? Yes – but please keep the distance

The first rays of sunshine and spring-like temperatures gave the Aachen Ordnungsamt (public order office) a lot of work over the last weekend.

Everywhere in the city it was crowded. All the parks were well-frequented, some were even overcrowded. For example, in Kennedypark there were about 150 people, and the recreational area in Walheim was sometimes even visited by up to 400 people. In many places, the Ordnungsamt’s Ordnungs- und Sicherheitsdienst – OSD (security service) detected violations of the distance rule.

"In case of violations of the applicable laws and prohibitions, the Coronaschutzverordnung (corona protection ordinance) provides for the initiation of administrative offence proceedings and the levying of a fine. The Stadt Aachen Fachbereich Sicherheit und Ordnung (department of safety and order) will consistently punish any detected violations.",

clarifies Armin Bergstein, deputy head of the Fachbereich Sicherheit und Ordnung.

In view of the almost summery weather, he again draws attention to the fact that a minimum distance of 1.5 metres must also be observed in public spaces, be it on playgrounds, in parks and above all in queues in front of ice cream parlours, unless it concerns members of one household or at most one household plus one extra person of another household. On playgrounds, the obligation to wear masks also applies to children from the age of school entrance. Everywhere else where the distances cannot be kept, the obligation to wear masks also applies outdoors.

However not only on the warm days, also during the nights did the OSD have some operations. On Saturday (20 February), a party with 18 people was broken up in the area of the Vennbahnweg near the Madrider Ring underpass.

On Sunday night (21 February), there was a party with twelve people in Kornelimünster. On the same evening, a party with 20 people took place in a hotel in the city centre. Due to a lack of cooperation on the part of those involved and the size of the group of people, both, police forces and a key service were called in. Only the key service allowed the OSD and police to enter the building where they were able to verify the personal data of those involved.

All unauthorised events were shut down by the OSD. Administrative offence proceedings will be initiated against all those involved for violating the contact restrictions. The hotel operator will also see a lawsuit initiated for violating the accommodation ban.

Photo: Puppenbrunnen (dolls fountain) in Aachen © Junghyun Shin 2020

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