When did the bars start?

Partial lockdown has begun : Public life in Germany is shutting down

Strict contact restrictions, closed restaurants and leisure facilities: a partial lockdown has been in effect throughout Germany since Monday. They came into force at midnight and are initially supposed to apply for four weeks.

Nationwide, restaurateurs, cultural and leisure facilities are now largely prohibited from opening their establishments. Stricter rules also apply to personal meetings: in most federal states only two households are allowed to come together - in some cases this even applies to meetings within your own four walls. The contact restrictions are intended to prevent health authorities and the entire health system from being overloaded, especially the intensive care units.

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Unlike in spring, daycare centers and schools as well as shops will generally remain open this time. On the other hand, restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs have to close, they are only allowed to sell food and drinks to take away.

Citizens should refrain from traveling

A compulsory break now also applies to cinemas and theaters, operas and museums, fitness studios, swimming pools, saunas and many other facilities. In general, people should avoid unnecessary trips and visits.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) agreed on the drastic steps with the prime ministers of the 16 federal states last Wednesday in view of the rapidly increasing number of infections. They should initially last until the end of November, after two weeks the federal and state governments want to jointly take stock and, if necessary, make adjustments.

The federal states implement the restrictions by ordinance, so there are regional differences. Here you will find an overview of the regulations that apply in Berlin.

Cultural workers fear for their existence

In the event and culture industry and gastronomy, which has been particularly hard hit by the Corona crisis, there is great dissatisfaction with the new rules. Many fear for their existence.

In addition to the economic aid that is already in progress, an additional package of up to ten billion euros is intended to help businesses and self-employed people who will not be able to make any turnover in November. Lawyers still expect a wave of lawsuits.

Criticism from the FDP

The tourism expert of the FDP parliamentary group, Marcel Klinge, criticized the closure of restaurants and hotels. "With the blanket closure of restaurants and the ban on overnight stays in Germany, the worst-case scenario came true for all providers of tourist services," he told the "Augsburger Allgemeine".

The new Corona aid from Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is "nothing more than hush money" so that the companies concerned support the new, strict rule.

Söder: "The alternative would be to let it run"

Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder, however, defended the stricter measures. "The alternative would be to let it go," said the CSU boss on Sunday evening in the ARD program "Anne Will". But that would mean an enormous increase in infections and an overload of the hospitals, ultimately also high death rates.

"There is no other concept in the whole world than reducing contacts in order to react to Corona," said Söder. "If there was a better, easier one, we would apply it immediately." In addition, the current partial lockdown is not quite as comprehensive as in the spring and in other European countries.

Spahn speaks of the "situation of the century"

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn swore the Germans to "months of restrictions and renunciation". Even if public life resumes in a few weeks, severe restrictions could be threatened again. “Nobody can rule out that it won't happen again at some point in the future,” said the CDU politician on Sunday evening in the ZDF “heute-journal”. Germany is in a "situation of the century" because of the Corona crisis.

Chancellery Minister Helge Braun showed little hope that the partial lockdown could be defused again shortly. "I do not think it is likely that we can loosen measures in two weeks," said the CDU politician on Sunday evening in the ARD program "Anne Will".

"I firmly assume that the infection process will really slow down with the measures that we have now decided." But the overall success depends on the will of each individual. The spirit that reigned in March is needed again this winter.

Hospitals expect the number of intensive care patients to peak

Meanwhile, the head of the German Hospital Society, Gerald Gaß, expects a new high in intensive care patients during the corona pandemic. “In two to three weeks we will surpass the maximum number of intensive care patients from April - and we can no longer prevent that. Anyone who is admitted to the hospital with us in three weeks is already infected today, ”he told the“ Bild ”newspaper.

He announced that he would also use nursing staff from non-intensive care areas in the intensive care units. "That is of course not ideal, but it can be justified in such an exceptional situation."

The federal government's authorized care representative, Andreas Westerfellhaus, warned of dramatic developments. "Many intensive care nurses are already working to the limit, and they rightly warn of a deterioration," he told the "Bild" newspaper. Only a whole bundle of measures can "prevent a disaster" - this includes, for example, postponing operations that can be planned if necessary. (dpa)

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