The signs point to relaxation: after the federal-state resolutions, life in the Corona pandemic will improve for many people. In the vast majority of the federal states, the resolutions are being implemented, more contacts are being allowed, and it is also possible to go shopping or to museums in many places. Schools are also slowly sliding back into face-to-face classes - but with great regional variation. The most important changes this Monday:
Contacts: Five people from two households will be allowed to meet again, according to federal-state decisions. The states are also implementing this rule starting next week.
Shopping: Retailers will be allowed to make appointments if the seven-day incidence is below 100 new infections per 100,000 people each week, and they can open with limited customers if the incidence is below 50. The states implement this requirement either statewide or differentiated by region. In Berlin (Monday is a public holiday), Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse and Saxony, it will be possible to shop with an appointment from Monday, and in Saarland with more customers than before, depending on the area. Appointment shopping will also be possible in North Rhine-Westphalia, where it was still unclear how to proceed in regions with a low incidence. In Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Schleswig-Holstein, regional figures will determine whether retailers can dispense with appointment shopping in some regions. In Thuringia, the opening of the retail sector has been postponed for the time being due to an incidence of over 100, but DIY stores will be allowed to offer appointment shopping from March 15.
Culture: Similar regulations as for shopping also apply to the opening of museums or galleries. In most federal states, they are allowed to open from Monday onwards, subject to conditions, or at least to make appointments; in some states, the regional incidence remains the yardstick. Factually, however, it could take a week longer until the houses can implement the openings organizationally, as was heard from some states. In Saxonia this opening step is to take place only starting from 15. March. In Thuringia there is no talk of opening museums or galleries for the time being.
Cosmetics and Co: Hairdressers have already been open since March 1. Other so-called body-related services such as massages are to be permitted again from Monday under strict conditions. What exactly is meant, can differ from country to country - mostly cosmetics, nail care, massage or even tattoo studios are meant. If a mask cannot be worn throughout, it is to be tested beforehand. In Thuringia, this step is not to take place until March 15.
Sports: According to a decision by the federal and state governments, ten people can play sports outside in the fresh air without contact if the incidence is below 50 - if the incidence is up to 100, at least five people from two households can play sports outside. Children up to age 14 can play sports outside in groups of up to 20. Here, too, most states largely follow the resolutions. In Hesse, individual gym appointments can also be booked. Berlin lowers the age limit for children's groups to 12. In Thuringia, the necessary incidence for this opening step has not yet been reached.
Schools: At schools, face-to-face classes are slowly being ramped up again. The states are proceeding very differently here. In Berlin, only the 1st to 3rd grades have been back in alternating classes so far; as of Tuesday, the 4th to 6th grades will also be back. In the elementary schools of the city of Bremen, face-to-face instruction and alternating instruction starting with the fifth grade have been in effect again since March 1. The respective final classes are to write exams in presence. From March 15, depending on the local incidence, elementary school students in Bavaria will be able to return to normal attendance classes - students at secondary schools will be able to switch to alternating classes. In Brandenburg, after elementary schools, secondary schools will also go into alternating instruction from March 15. In Hamburg, compulsory attendance for students remains lifted, so parents can decide to keep their children in homeschooling. In Lower Saxony, compulsory attendance will return for elementary school students and graduating classes starting Monday, as long as the region does not have a seven-day attendance score above 100. On March 15, grades 5 through 7 and the 12th grade will return from homeschooling to the alternating model. In Rhineland-Palatinate, alternate education is also being extended to grades five and six. In Saxony, elementary school students have already been in alternating instruction since February, and the rest will follow from March 15. In large parts of Schleswig-Holstein, too, children and young people in grades 5 and 6 will be able to go back to school for face-to-face lessons from Monday.
Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay