Coronavirus incident rate over 50 Bonn imposes tougher restrictions and closing times

Bonn · Bonn has exceeded the seven-day incidence rate of 50. From Saturday onwards, people will be required to wear masks in pedestrian zones and there will be a closing time for all restaurants. Only five people will be allowed to meet up in public spaces.

 A medical worker with a test swab in a corona testing facility.

A medical worker with a test swab in a corona testing facility.

Foto: Nicolas Ottersbach

The seven-day incidence rate in Bonn has exceeded the threshold of 50. On Friday morning, the city reported 167 people currently infected, an incidence rate of 50.61 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. As of Saturday, October 17, tightened protective measures will apply in Bonn.

People will be required to wear masks in the pedestrian zones of Bonn and Bad Godesberg as well as in the shopping streets of Beuel and Duisdorf. A maximum of five people from different households will be allowed to meet in public spaces; previously that number was ten, as city director Wolfgang Fuchs explained at a press conference on Friday at noon. "However, ten people from one household may still get together," he said.

Even though an ordinance mandating a closing time in Berlin was overturned by a court, Bonn is implementing a mandatory closing time along those lines and in synch with many other large cities: Restaurants have to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and no alcohol may be sold between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. "With these measures, events can be regulated to some extent," says Fuchs.

Masks must also be worn while seated

Starting Saturday, visitors will have to wear a mask at all events and meetings indoors and in closed rooms as well as in libraries - even if they have taken their seats.

How many guests are allowed to be present at a wedding depends on the room capacities. As a rule, ten, and 25 participants are allowed at weddings. A champagne reception after the ceremony is not permitted.

Funerals and memorials may take place with a maximum of 50 people. Contact sports can still take place outdoors with a maximum of 30 people.

When the seven-day incidence rate reaches 50, the Corona Protection Ordinance from the state also dictates stricter regulations. One change is that there may now only be 500 people at outdoor events. A maximum of 250 people are allowed in closed rooms. At private celebrations outside the home, only 25 people are allowed to gather.

Bonn wants to prevent tightening of measures for the arts

"With all these measures, we hope to be able to break the chains of infection effectively. Our goal must be to reduce the number of new infections," says Fuchs, who is head of the municipal crisis management team. "This is not yet a lockdown, everyone is free to move around with a few restrictions." What worries him are events such as concerts and theater. "If, as announced by the state government, the number of visitors is reduced to 20 percent, many organizers will not be able to cope financially.” He said the City of Bonn plans to video conference with the state government and other mayors on Friday to ensure that the tightening of regulations for such events does not take hold. "Our experience shows that the increased infection rates have not developed there," said Fuchs. Much more often, people contracted the coronavirus at private parties.

The federal and state governments had recently adopted uniform measures. Regions are considered to be high-risk areas if there are 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in a week.

The published incidence values of the RKI and the city of Bonn still differ. According to the city, the figures of the city of Bonn are the decisive factor for the tightened measures.

(Orig. text: Nicolas Ottersbach / Translation: ck)

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