Tuesday, January 05, 2021
Merkel wants tougher exit restrictions
In the Chancellery, consideration is being given to restricting the radius of movement of residents to corona hotspots to 15 kilometers. The federal states are responsible – the majority rejects the proposal. In view of the high corona numbers, however, further measures are under discussion.
At a preliminary meeting at the Chancellery on Monday evening, exit restrictions were also discussed, as they have been in Saxony since mid-December. According to information from ntv and RTL, in the round, in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister also took part, scientists also discussed the proposal to limit the radius of movement of residents in regions with particularly high incidence values to 15 kilometers around their place of residence.
An expert from the Max Planck Institute explained that in order to reduce the number of infections, “possibly” a “stay at home” arrangement or a restricted range of motion around the place of residence is required.
Merkel responded positively to the proposal, according to participants. Exit restrictions have been in effect in Saxony since December 14, and they are being discussed in Thuringia. Six of the ten districts most severely affected by Corona are currently in Saxony, the other four in Thuringia and Bavaria. Such restrictions already existed in other countries, such as Ireland or France.
According to information from the German Press Agency, discussions continued in the morning in the Chancellery about whether there should be restrictions on the permitted range of motion around the place of residence in circles with a high rate of new infections. However, it is still open whether the point will really be included in the decision paper. A decision should only be made in the afternoon between the heads of government and Merkel.
Threshold at incidence of 100?
According to information from ntv and RTL, there is no majority among the prime ministers for the proposal to restrict the range of motion. Because of other points, there is apparently still a considerable need for coordination in the group, so that the start of the Prime Minister’s Conference (MPK) was postponed by two hours to 1 p.m. Merkel, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder want to meet beforehand for a preliminary discussion. Müller is MPK chairman, Söder his deputy.
According to information from the “Tagesspiegel”, the Chancellery still wants to tighten the exit restrictions for the proposed resolution. At the most recent conference of the Prime Ministers with Merkel it was decided that “extensive exit restrictions” should be “considered” at the latest if the incidence of 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded within a week. According to the “Tagesspiegel”, the Chancellery wants to lower this threshold to 100 new infections.
According to the current Corona Ordinance, “shopping for daily needs and the use of other services within 15 kilometers of the living area or the workplace or to the closest facility for basic supplies / for daily purchases” is permitted in the Free State of Saxony. Sports within a radius of 15 kilometers around the apartment are also allowed.
Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow from the Left had already said on Sunday that he is also aiming for such a regulation for his state. Like Saxony, Thuringia is a corona hotspot. In the state government of Thuringia, however, Ramelow’s initiative is controversial. Finance Minister Heike Taubert from the SPD spoke about it on twitter against it. The state cabinet meets today after the video conference between the prime ministers and Merkel, which is also planned for today.