Partial lockdown until 10. January: stricter rules on new year’s eve?

Partial lockdown until 10. january: stricter rules on new year's eve?

In view of persistently high infection figures, bavaria’s minister-president markus soder (CSU) is considering tightening contact restrictions – also on new year’s eve.

After the federal and state governments agreed to extend the partial lockdown until 10. January soder raised the question "whether that alone is the mabnahme or whether there is still a need for significant improvements in some places". During a visit to passau, the CSU leader said on thursday: "if the figures remain like this, it will also be clear that on new year’s eve, for example, the number of contacts will also have to be reduced."

Despite recent restrictions, corona case numbers are still at too high a level, according to the robert koch institute (RKI). "The situation remains very tense," said RKI president lothar wieler in berlin. Within 24 hours, 22.046 new infections reported – only slightly fewer than a week ago.

Federal health minister jens spahn (CDU) expressed alarm, especially about the many corona deaths: "what really bothers me is the high number of deaths in the last few days," he said in a podcast of the news portal "thepioneer". With 479 deaths within one day, the second highest level since the beginning of the pandemic was recorded on thursday morning.

Against this backdrop, the prime ministers of the federal states had agreed with chancellor angela merkel (CDU) to extend the partial lockdown with the closure of restaurants, museums, theaters and recreational facilities until 10 september. January. The restrictions have been in place since the beginning of november and were initially extended last week until shortly before christmas. Saarland’s minister president tobias hans (CDU) demanded unity from his country colleagues in the fight against the pandemic: "the more we speak with one voice, the higher the acceptance of the mabnahmen," he told the deutsche presse-agentur.

Controversy has recently surrounded not only the measures to combat the corona virus but also the state financial aid for businesses that have had to close due to the pandemic. FDP parliamentary group vice-chairman michael theurer spoke out in favor of significantly increasing the advance payments for november aid. They have had to increase by a factor of 100 to as much as 500.000 euros – otherwise companies could run into considerable liquidity problems, warned theurer. Economics minister peter altmaier (CDU) promised on the RTL/ntv program "fruhstart" to review an increase in certain cases. For many middlemen and coarser companies, he said, the progress payments are in fact "insufficient".

According to RKI observations, the incidence of infection in germany currently varies considerably from region to region: berlin, bremen and hamburg recently showed a slight downward trend. Slight increases in saxony-anhalt and brandenburg, significant increases in thuringia and very significant increases in saxony.

Saxony’s minister president michael kretschmer (CDU) therefore does not expect the situation to return to normal for another six months. "I think that as soon as summer comes, we will have a basic relaxation again," he told mdr horfunk. Then many people will also have been vaccinated, "so that we will be able to lead a normal life again from may/june".

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