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Corona pandemic: Angela Merkel sees transition into a new pandemic phase "with justified hopes"

2021-03-03T23:01:33.442Z

After the deliberations of the federal and state governments, it is clear: The shutdown will be extended - with careful opening steps. Angela Merkel sees Germany on the threshold of a new phase of the pandemic.



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Angela Merkel (archive photo)

Photo: Markus Schreiber / dpa

Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks of a “transition into a new phase” in the final press conference after the end of the federal-state consultations.

This should not be accompanied with carelessness, "but with justified hopes".

It is now a matter of "taking the next steps wisely".

A lot has been achieved in the past few months.

"What we went through together was tough," said the Chancellor.

But it was also effective.

The intensive care units were prevented from being overloaded, the spread of the virus was contained and mass unemployment prevented.

The task now is to "take the next steps wisely".

There should be "steps towards opening up," said Merkel, but they should not lead to being thrown back in the pandemic.

Merkel was cautiously optimistic.

"Spring 2021 will be different from spring a year ago." That is due to vaccines and tests.

"Vaccination is the way out of the pandemic."

The distance between the first and the second vaccination should be used to the maximum, said Merkel.

"This means we can vaccinate more people faster." A free weekly test should be available for all people from March 8th.

According to Merkel, the federal government and the states agreed on several opening steps, which should follow one another if the incidences are appropriate.

After some countries have already relaxed schools and hairdressers in the first step, further areas are now planned.

Certain rules should apply here for incidences below 50 or below 100.

A step can be taken if the incidence remains stable 14 days after the previous step, said Merkel.

If the so-called seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants rises to over 100 on three consecutive days, the brakes should apply - then the currently applicable rules should apply again from the second following working day

  • In a

    second step

    , bookstores, flower shops and garden centers should be allowed to open, provided they have a hygiene concept and allow a maximum of one customer per ten square meters for the first 800 square meters of sales area and one person for each additional 20 square meters.

    Also previously closed body-friendly services as well as driving and flight schools should be able to reopen with appropriate hygiene concepts.

    If a mask cannot be worn permanently - for example in cosmetic studios - customers and staff have to show tests.

  • Opening step three

    provides for the opening of the retail trade with incidences of less than 50 with the restrictions on the number of customers depending on the sales area.

    Museums, galleries, zoos and botanical gardens as well as memorials should then be allowed to reopen.

    In addition, non-contact outdoor sports should then be allowed again in groups of up to ten people.

    If the incidence is below 100, retailers could offer appointment shopping.

    Visits to museums, galleries, zoos and botanical gardens would then only be possible after booking an appointment, outdoor group sports only for children up to 14 years of age, for adults a maximum of two.

  • In

    step 4

    , if the incidence is below 50, the opening of outdoor restaurants, theaters, concert and opera houses and cinemas is planned.

    Contact-free sport should then be possible again indoors, and contact sport outdoors as well.

    If the incidence is below 100, it should be possible to visit outdoor restaurants by booking an appointment and, if necessary, with proof of test.

    Visitors would then also have to submit a daily test for visiting concert or opera houses, theaters and cinemas.

    Contact-free sport indoors and contact sport outdoors would only be possible if all participants presented a daily test.

  • The

    opening step 5

    provides at an incidence below 50 that contact sports are allowed indoors.

    In addition, outdoor events with up to 50 participants should be possible.

    If the incidence is less than 100, contact sports outdoors should be allowed without a test.

  • Further relaxations - for gastronomy, culture, travel, events and hotels are only to be discussed at the next federal-state round on March 22nd.

Merkel said the emergency brake had to be adhered to accurately.

It is a "concept of reliability".

In view of the contagious virus mutations, one is in a delicate phase.

More soon on SPIEGEL.de

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ulz / cop / dpa

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-03-03

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