Current Corona situation Compulsory mask rule in NRW schools to be abolished as of November

Bonn/Region · The incidence in North Rhine-Westphalia has been falling continuously since the end of August. From the beginning of November, schools in North Rhine-Westphalia will no longer be required to wear masks. Here are the current developments on the pandemic and case numbers.

 The NRW Ministry of Education holds out the prospect of an end to the compulsory wearing of masks in schools at the beginning of November.

The NRW Ministry of Education holds out the prospect of an end to the compulsory wearing of masks in schools at the beginning of November.

Foto: dpa/Gregor Fischer

More than 10,000 mobile vaccinations in Bonn and other dates

Exactly 10,099 Corona vaccinations have been administered since mid-July with the open mobile vaccination campaigns of the City of Bonn. This was announced by the city on Wednesday. And there are still more vaccination offers coming up for everyone over the age of 12:

The next vaccination campaigns will take place on Saturday, October 9. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. vaccinations will be offered at the Bonn-Information, Windeckstraße 1, and also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the vaccination bus will be at Münsterplatz on the occasion of the "Beethoven Rally". Vaccines from Johnson and Johnson (one-time vaccination) and Biontech (second vaccination about three weeks later at the doctor's office or, if necessary, at one of the mobile vaccination campaigns) will be offered. For persons between 12 and 18 years of age, only Biontech vaccines will be available.

For children and adolescents aged 12 to 15 years, the consent of a custodial person is sufficient and a custodial person must be present at the vaccination.

Applications for Corona economic aid now open until December

Companies affected by the Corona pandemic can now apply for the bridging aid that has been extended until the end of the year - the federal government's central crisis instrument. Specifically, it is Bridging Aid III Plus for the funding period October to December 2021, the Federal Ministry of Economics announced in Berlin on Wednesday.

The German economy had made an "impressive recovery" over the summer, it said. Nevertheless, there are still sectors suffering from Corona-related restrictions. These companies could continue to take advantage of the extended Bridging Aid III Plus. As before, companies with a Corona-related drop in turnover of at least 30 percent are eligible to apply. With the bridging aid, fixed operating costs are reimbursed. According to the ministry, the new start-up aid plus for solo self-employed persons will also be extended.

Mask requirement at NRW schools to be abolished as of November

The state government has announced that the obligation to wear masks at schools in North Rhine-Westphalia will be relaxed as of November 2. Taking into account the further course of infections, it is the intention of the state government to abolish the compulsory wearing of masks during lessons in the seats at the beginning of the second week after the autumn holidays, according to an email sent by the NRW school ministry on Wednesday. Masks will then only be compulsory in the rest of the school building. In the outdoor area, there is already no longer a mask requirement.

"Our pupils have had to put up with many restrictions in the past months of the pandemic," said School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) in a statement. She added that they had done so in an admirable manner and with a great sense of responsibility. "We owe it to them to continuously review our measures to contain the pandemic and not to keep them in place any longer than absolutely necessary," Gebauer stressed. She appealed to adults to get vaccinated and thus protect children as well.

On the first school day after the autumn holidays (October 25), all pupils who have not been immunised are to be tested at the start of classes. Unless they can present a so-called citizenship test that is not older than 48 hours. This also applies to teachers and other school staff, the email says. From the second day of school, the usual tests in schools would then continue until the Christmas holidays. This applies to the Corona self-tests (three times a week) at secondary schools as well as to the PCR pool tests (twice a week) at primary and special schools.

RKI president against lifting the mask requirement at schools

The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is against the abolition of compulsory mask use at schools in some German states. The head of the institute, Lothar Wieler, said in Berlin on Wednesday that he saw no reason to change the recommendation on Corona protection measures at schools, day-care centres and in old people's and nursing homes, at least until spring 2022. In the capital, for example, the obligation to wear masks has been lifted since Monday up to and including the sixth grade.

In autumn and winter, the number of infections is expected to rise due to the increase in indoor contacts. Because of the risk of long-term effects (Long Covid), he said, "we still believe that we have to protect children". He emphasised: "We want day-care centres and schools to stay open, but please maintain protective measures."

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said it was right that the issue should be decided regionally, depending on the incidence locally. "To leave it generally for the whole of Germany now, that cannot be the right approach." He advocated continuing to test regularly - two to three times a week.

Wieler called on the general population to show solidarity with the nine million children under 12 in Germany, most of whom are unprotected against Covid-19. No Corona vaccine is yet available for this age group. It is everyone's responsibility to protect this group, Wieler said. "This also includes that everyone who can, who handles the children, gets vaccinated against Covid-19 and also complies with the other measures.“

(Original text: ga/dpa; Translation: Mareike Graepel)

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