In view of the high Corona numbers, the lockdown in Germany will be extended until January 31. The federal and state governments agreed on this during their deliberations in Berlin. In some areas there is a tightening of the measures.
The number of new corona infections remains high in Germany. At the same time, there is growing concern about the virus mutation B117, which is considered to be much more contagious. Against this background, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Ministers of the federal states have decided to extend the measures originally limited to January 10, 2021 to January 31, 2021.
In several federal states, the new lockdown regulations came into force on January 10th, for example in Berlin, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia. In Hamburg, the stricter corona measures have been in place since January 8th.
On January 25, 2021, the federal and state governments will then discuss how to proceed.
What new measures will apply from January 11th
Private meetings: As of January 11th, the previous resolutions will be tightened – private meetings are therefore only permitted with members of the own household and with a maximum of one other person who does not live in the household. The previously applicable exceptions for children up to the age of 14 no longer exist. Two couples are therefore no longer allowed to meet for dinner and two children are not allowed to visit another child at home.
Exceptions in individual federal states for private meetings:
North Rhine-Westphalia deviates in some points from the agreements with the federal government and the other states in the stricter corona protective measures. With the tightened contact restrictions on one household and one additional person, children to be cared for in NRW are not counted. The private room is not mentioned in the NRW Corona Protection Ordinance.
The Saarland wants to take hardship cases into account. In Saarland, for example, reciprocal childcare between two fixed reference households should be permitted, and two children instead of one should be allowed to be given to the grandparents to look after. In addition, for example, daughter and husband can visit parents in need of care together.
When implementing the corona contact restrictions, Berlin is creating a special rule for the children of single parents. These are not covered by the private meeting limit. In the future, meetings will only be permitted with members of your own household and with a maximum of one other person not living in the household. If this person is a single parent, their children are not counted, so they may join them. The rule on the children of single parents is a Berlin-specific addition.
Freedom of movement: There should be restrictions on freedom of movement in Corona hotspots. In counties with a seven-day incidence of over 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, the federal states will take further local measures in accordance with the Infection Protection Act, in particular to limit the range of motion to 15 kilometers around the place of residence, unless there is a valid reason. Day trips are explicitly not a valid reason.
In Germany, there is already a limited range of motion in Saxony, where the number of new infections has risen sharply in the past three months. Here, citizens are only allowed a maximum of 15 kilometers from their place of residence, for example to do sports or to go shopping.
Exceptions from individual federal states to freedom of movement: The Corona Ordinance in North Rhine-Westphalia from January 10th for the federal state with around 18 million inhabitants does not limit the radius of movement to 15 kilometers for residents in extreme Corona hotspots.
In Saarland, the restrictions on movement in hotspots are less restrictive than in other federal states: the 15-kilometer limit should explicitly only apply to day trips. Private visits may still be possible.
Schools and daycare centers: With regard to schools, it was said that the measures taken by the federal states would have to be extended until the end of the month. Schools and day-care centers should remain largely closed until at least the end of January or only offer limited operation. But the regulations in the federal states are likely to be different.
The federal government will legally regulate that child sickness benefit will be granted for 10 additional days per parent (20 additional days for single parents) in 2021. The entitlement should also apply in cases in which the child needs to be cared for at home because the school / kindergarten or class / group is closed due to the pandemic or because classroom attendance has been suspended.
Working life: Politicians appeal to employers to allow employees to work from home. Company canteens are closed wherever possible. The delivery of take-away food and drinks remains permitted.
Gastronomy and retail: Hotels, restaurants and retail outlets that do not offer everyday goods remain closed or are only allowed to offer take-away food.
Entry from risk areas: The regulations for people entering from risk areas are to be tightened. In principle, a corona test should be made directly at entry. In detail, the following applies: In the future, in addition to the existing ten-day quarantine obligation, which can be shortened after five days at the earliest due to a negative test result, an additional test obligation should be introduced for entry into Germany from risk areas (two-test strategy).
For special risk areas, of which there is a particular risk of entry due to the spread of mutations of the virus or particularly high incidences, the federal government wants to issue additional rules.
In the case of unavoidable entries from areas in which such mutated virus variants occur, the federal police will increasingly monitor compliance with the special entry regulations.
How will the vaccinations continue?
1.3 million doses of the vaccine had been delivered to the federal states by the end of the year, almost 2.7 million more doses will follow by February 1, 2020. 201,000 people received the vaccine for professional reasons. In addition, the preparation has now been administered to more than 168,000 residents of nursing homes.
All residents of inpatient care facilities will be offered a vaccination offer by mid-February at the latest.
The aim of the federal and state governments is to increase the initially limited production capacities in Germany. To this end, the federal government and the state of Hessen want to support Biontech so that production can be approved and started in February in a newly set up plant in Marburg.
The willingness to vaccinate has risen, as is evident from a survey by infratest dimap for the ARD Germany trend.