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Reaction to the coronavirus: Bonn puts public life on hold

Reaction to the coronavirus : Bonn puts public life on hold

The city of Bonn is taking drastic steps against the spread of the novel corona virus. All municipal facilities will be closed, and even small events will be assessed in terms of the risks they may pose. Starting Monday, schools and daycare centers will be closed, cinemas and dance clubs will also have to close.

On Friday, the City of Bonn announced further measures in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus. All municipal facilities will remain closed until the end of the Easter holidays, Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan announced at a press conference. These include museums, swimming pools, an educational center for migrants, and all 15 municipal youth centers. Sridharan announced that the city would issue a new ordinance on Saturday to reflect these measures. The city also plans to put out a checklist to be used for events with less than a thousand visitors, it would also need to be used for events in non-public venues.

On the checklist, various criteria are used to assess whether the upcoming event may take place or not. These include the size of the event, the number of visitors, the background of the visitors, the type of event room being used and the distance to neighbors. Each event is classified using a point-based system. City director Wolfgang Fuchs said: "Generally, most events will not be able to take place.” Cultural and dance events, parties on ships and movie theater visits will also be prohibited.

Schools and daycare centers closed

The city also commented on the new directive issued by the NRW state government. It stipulates that all schools and daycare centers will be closed as of next week. In Bonn, this means that starting Monday, there will be no more schools operating. On Monday and Tuesday, however, the teachers will still be available to look after the children on site. Daycare centers will be closed for children from Monday onwards. From Wednesday, emergency care will be provided for children of parents working in critical infrastructure facilities, such as the police, fire department or medical facilities. This applies to children up to and including sixth grade.

All city events will not take place until further notice," said Sridharan. Bars, cafés and restaurants are not affected by the ban, according to Fuchs. However, it is recommended not to visit such places. "In a restaurant, you don't sit as close together as in the theater or cinema", said Sridharan.

Rhine in Flames cancelled

Regarding major future events, Sridharan said that he could not imagine the Bonn Marathon taking place. Rhine in Flames has been cancelled, he said. Sridharan was also skeptical about whether the Hofgarten concerts could take place.

However, the citizen’s service center will remain open for the time being. "If it is not absolutely necessary, citizens should refrain from making appointments there," Sridharan continued. The weekly produce market will continue to take place, and public transport will be continued - albeit with special precautions. Passengers are now only allowed to board the bus in the rear area; and tickets are no longer being sold on the bus.

(Orig. text: Andreas Dyck, Sebastian Fink, Translation: ck)

Foto: The City of Bonn is implementing drastic measures to prevent the spreading of the novel coronavirus.