• S. Loesser

StädteRegion Aachen: no hard lockdown despite Corona-Notbremse

There will be no hard lockdown in StädteRegion Aachen. The Land (federal state) Nordrhein-Westfalen – NRW approves the "test-option".

The Land has adapted the Coronaschutzverordnung (corona protection ordinance) to the decisions of the consultations between Bund and Länder. Due to the state-wide 7-day incidence rate of 121.6 (as of 26 March 2021), the federally agreed Notbremse (emergency brake) also applies in NRW. For Kreise (districts) and kreisfreie Städte (urban districts) with an incidence rate above 100, this generally means that all openings made on 8 March 2021 have to be reversed.

Against this backdrop, the Land NRW also applied the so-called "Corona-Notbremse” (corona emergency brake) for the StädteRegion Aachen in accordance with § 16 of the new Coronaschutzverordnung on Friday 26 March 2021. Next to 30 other Kreisen or kreisfreie Städten in NRW, according to figures from the Landeszentrum Gesundheit NRW (NRW state centre for health), StädteRegion Aachen also has an incidence rate of more than 100 (Friday 26 March 2021: 102.0).

The respective Kommunen (municipalities), i.e. also StädteRegion Aachen, are now deciding between two options in close consultation with the Ministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales (Ministry of Labour, health and social affairs):

  1. Strict lockdown with repeal of the openings that came into force on 8 March 2021, or

  2. the "Test-Option". With the test-option, these openings (such as click and meet, museums, zoo visits) can be retained – but only for customers, visitors and users with a daily confirmed negative rapid or self-test. [The Bundesregierung had previously decided that temporary model projects should be possible – with strict protective measures and a test concept – in order to open up individual areas of public life, as Meuse Rhine Gazette reported (see point 6). StädteRegion Aachen has applied to be such a “Modellkommune” (prototype municipality).]

The prerequisite for adopting the "test option" is a sufficient, comprehensive and local offer for free rapid tests. In StädteRegion Aachen, with its functioning infrastructure with currently about 200 test centres for resident testing, this is the case.

For this reason, the crisis management teams of the Stadt and the StädteRegion Aachen unanimously decided to make use of the test option and drafted a general ruling on Friday [27 March 2021] evening and adjusted it with the Land NRW. The Gesundheitsministerium NRW (NRW Ministry of Health) immediately approved this general ruling.

The general ruling states that instead of the restrictions according to § 16 para. 1 sentence 1 nos. 2 to 8 of the Coronaschutzverordnung, the use of the respective offers is dependent on a confirmed negative result of a quick test or self-test updated on the given day, according to § 4 para. 4 of the Coronaschutzverordnung.

From today, Monday 29 March 2021, the test option applies in the StädteRegion Aachen. With a rapid test or self-test confirmed by an approved body, which is up-to-date on the respective day (not older than 24 hours), the relaxations already made possible so far (click and meet in shops, museums, visits to the zoo, etc.) can thereby be maintained.

In addition to this, the existing protective measures such as the obligation to wear masks, visitor limits per square metre, regulations on traceability etc. still apply.

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