It was a busy weekend for the state chancellery heads of the federal states: They joined forces several times in different groups to discuss how to proceed with the corona pandemic. Now there is apparently the paper on which the prime ministers agreed internally on Monday and with which they want to enter into consultations with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on Wednesday.
According to a draft resolution from the state of Berlin, which SPIEGEL has received, the shutdown that has previously applied in Germany is to remain in place until December 20. Berlin currently holds the chairmanship of the Prime Minister’s Conference. According to reports, suggestions from preliminary discussions between the federal states have been incorporated into the paper.
Only in regions “that have an incidence of less than 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within 7 days and a falling incidence trend” could there be easing earlier, it says.
According to the template, the background to the extension is that there has so far only been a “sideways trend” in reducing new infections: the numbers are at a consistently high level. This means that “the actual goal of a significant reduction in new infections has not yet been achieved,” says the country chiefs’ draft resolution.
In order to prevent discussions about the further course of the pandemic breaking out again shortly before Christmas, the country leaders propose an automatic mechanism: If it does not succeed by December 20, decisive indicators such as the R-value, the occupancy of the intensive care units and the incidence “To press significantly”, the currently applicable restrictions are to be automatically extended again by 14 days.
The proposals from the federal states are intended to prevent a fiasco like the one at the last conference with the Chancellor last week.
Müller: “Not enough”
“We agree that a lot has been achieved, but not enough. The exponential growth was slowed down, but the number of infections is still too high, “said Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller on Sunday for the German Press Agency. “Against this background, it is currently inconceivable that we can now repeal the previously agreed measures,” emphasized the chairman of the conference of prime ministers. “How long we have to extend and how exactly we plan it is currently being discussed among ourselves. We are on the right track, so that we will have drafted a resolution by Wednesday, which the federal and state governments will then discuss together again. “
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) told Bild am Sonntag: “If we break the lockdown at this high level of infection numbers and lose patience, then everything will start all over again and we will end up with even tougher measures than now in the Czech Republic or Austria. “And:” Better a longer lockdown than a complete exit restriction over Christmas. “
Without an extension, the restrictions would have to expire at the end of November. How long they should last beyond that seems to be unclear. “In any case two or better three weeks,” says Söder. That would be until shortly before Christmas.
The Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) expects restrictions also over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. She told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that at Christmas and New Year’s Eve people should be able to meet their loved ones. But: “It is also clear that we have to limit contacts here too.”
According to the newspaper, the SPD wants to enable meetings with “non-household” people, the upper limit could be ten people, children under 14 years of age are not included.
Dreyer said: “It will be possible to have a small group of people in the New Year, but large New Year’s Eve parties or large crowds in popular places are definitely too much of a risk. We have to avoid that. “
Söder: “New Year’s Eve more consistent again”
Previously, the head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun, had said to the editorial network Germany (RND / Saturday): “I cannot imagine that my grandparents do not celebrate at Christmas.”
Söder said Christmas should be “freer”, “but New Year’s Eve should be more consistent”. For New Year’s Eve, he would like a ban on firecrackers or alcohol in larger places. “But there is no need for a general ban on firecrackers.”
For Finance Minister Olaf Scholz it is also “clear” that financial support must also continue. It would be “financially a challenge and complicated under European law” to replace 75 percent of the previous year’s sales in December as well, as he said in “Bild am Sonntag”. But it is about securing livelihoods.
Söder also sees it this way: the aid must flow as long as the lockdown lasts. “So there must be 75 percent of sales in the same month last year in December,” said the Bavarian Prime Minister, according to the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. This should also apply to showmen and market merchants who normally have their stalls at Christmas markets in December.
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