New Lockdown law: These regulations apply starting Saturday

New Lockdown law: These regulations apply starting Saturday

Following the decision on the nationwide "Corona emergency brake", Berliners must prepare for curfew restrictions, tighter contact restrictions and the closure of museums.

Die Uhhr steht kurz nach 22 Uhr in Sichtweite des Fernsehturms

© dpa

New rules will soon apply to shopping, and many stores may be facing closure again. The Bundestag passed the rules on Wednesday, the Bundesrat had them passed on Thursday. The law will come into force after it has been published in the Federal Law Gazette. The publication was made on Thursday (April 22, 2021). Accordingly, the adopted measures already apply from Saturday.

Incidence in Berlin above 100 for weeks

According to the spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Steve Alter, the new rules get automatically in effect everywhere where the seven-day incidence was above 100 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Berlin is well above that threshold, with recent incidences around 150, according to the health department's situation report. The Robert Koch Institute, whose data is supposed to be authoritative for the "emergency brake", gave the value as 134 on Thursday.
Some of the new rules for pandemic containment are stricter than those set out in Berlin's infection control ordinance. They are to apply from the day after next if the threshold of 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days is exceeded on three consecutive days. They are to remain in force until the incidence falls below the threshold of 100 on five consecutive days - at which point the extra requirements will cease to apply on the day after next.

Nocturnal curfew restrictions after 10 p.m.

In the future, Berliners will generally not be allowed to leave their own homes or properties after 10 p.m. and until 5 a.m. if they have a seven-day incidence of 100 or more. Jogging and walking are to remain permitted until midnight, but only alone. Previously, there were no such restrictions.

Slight tightening of contact restrictions

With the new rule, a household is still allowed to meet with no more than one other person in private and public spaces, with children up to 14 years old exempt. Previously, the rule in Berlin was more nuanced.

A maximum of five people from two households plus children were allowed to meet outdoors during the day. At night, between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., people were only allowed to be outdoors alone or in pairs - again, plus children if necessary.

Indoors, only members of a household or cohabiting partners plus one other person were previously allowed to be together. Here, too, children up to 14 were not counted. At night, no visits were allowed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. until now. The members of a household or life partner had to stay among themselves.

Distance learning in schools at incidence 165 and above

If the incidence exceeds 165, schools are to close and switch to distance learning, in which students learn at home using digital solutions. In Berlin, all students are currently in alternating classes, which means that some of them also learn at school - this would then be a thing of the past.

Mandatory testing, appointments and incidence-based retail closures

Stores may only open to customers who present a negative Corona test and have booked an appointment. Many stores are also required to close at an incidence of 150 and are then only allowed to offer pick-up of ordered goods. Currently, the incidence in Berlin is still below this threshold. Supermarkets, drugstores and pharmacies, among others, are exempt. Up to now, shopping beyond the grocery store is possible in Berlin with a current negative test result regardless of the incidence of infection - without prior appointment.

No public access to cultural institutions

According to the new law, theaters, operas, concert halls, museums, exhibitions and memorials must close. In Berlin, many museums and exhibitions have been open until now - a negative Corona test is a prerequisite for visiting them. Within the framework of model projects, it was also possible for a short time to open theaters with an appropriate hygiene concept, for example, if the visitors had a negative Corona test. However, this was stopped by the Senate before Easter. Cinemas and clubs, as well as restaurants, are also already closed. This will not change.

Berlin's governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD) described the law in the Bundesrat as "an addition - perhaps an important addition to our own actions, one more building block, no more and no less than a building block."

Source: dpa

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