Bavaria loosens restrictions slightly

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Thu 16th Apr, 2020

Following yesterday's announcements by the German Federal Government, Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder today announced at a press conference the changes to the measures that have been adopted in deviation from the nationwide regulations for Bavaria.

At the beginning of today's press conference, Minister-President Söder continues to urge caution in view of the Corona pandemic. Otherwise, there is a risk of a significant relapse, more difficult measures and an overload of the health system. He said that the Bavarian government would not allow any experiments with health.

The following relaxations of recent measures were announced:


Slight relaxation of the initial restrictions

Although the initial restrictions in Bavaria due to the Corona pandemic will be extended until 4 May, they will be relaxed slightly: As in the rest of Germany, meeting one external contact person will be permitted in Bavaria from Monday, April 20th onwards. Until now, people in Bavaria were only allowed to go outdoors with members of their own household.


Gradual opening of shops

In Bavaria, shops are supposed to open later than in other federal states. According to Söder, hardware stores, gardeneries and garden centres will open first on 20th April. One week later, shops with a maximum size of 800 square meters will be allowed to open. Department stores and shopping centres will remain closed. According to Söder, hairdressers will be allowed to open as of May 4 - with a protection concept and mask requirement.


Consideration of mask obligation, if recommendation is not enough

In shops and on public transport, people are advised to wear protective masks over their mouths and noses. If that is not enough, "we will then consider making masks mandatory," Söder said..


Church services probably possible from May

According to Söder, major events in Bavaria will remain prohibited until 31 August, as in the rest of Germany. The Minister President was very skeptical that the Munich Oktoberfest would be able to take place. He considers church services "possible" from May onwards.


Bavaria's schools open later

Exams and exam preparation at Bavarian schools are to be resumed as of April 27. According to Söder, schools will start again on 11 May, with those classes that have exams ahead of them. Other federal states will open their schools a week earlier.

According to the Bavarian Minister of Culture, Piazolo, it is a goal, but not yet decided, that more classes can go back to school on May 11. Starting April 27th, the graduating classes will be allowed to go back to school - that would be 14 percent of Bavarian pupils. However, no more than half the class size will be allowed in one room, and there will be a special seating arrangement with a minimum distance of one and a half metres.

For the time being, more than 80 percent of the pupils would have to continue learning at home.

Like Söder before, Piazolo also stressed that no pupil will have to repeat the school year because of Corona. The advancement into the next school year via testing will be generously allowed.

According to the Prime Minister, the state ministers of education will discuss this further on April 30th.


Emergency day care is being expanded

In view of the closure of kindergartens and schools, Bavaria wants to expand emergency day care. According to Söder, single parents and socially disadvantaged groups should also benefit from this, in addition to people working in "systemically relevant professions". Special hygiene concepts will still have to be developed for this.

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