Corona Rules Chancellery wants to extend contact restrictions until July 5

Berlin · The Federal Chancellery wants to extend the Corona contact restrictions until July 5. But there are also to be further relaxations. For example, more people will be allowed to meet than before.

 Symbolic photograph.

Symbolic photograph.

Foto: dpa/Marius Becker

The Chancellor's Office wants to extend the corona contact restrictions until July 5th, but also allow for further relaxation. "In future, up to ten people – or the members of two households – will be allowed to meet in private settings and in public places, according to a draft resolution presented to AFP by the Minister of the Chancellery, Helge Braun (CDU), for consultations with the state chancelleries of the federal states on Monday.

These consultations were still ongoing in the afternoon. It was not clear at first whether the states would agree to the proposal from the Chancellor's Office. The restrictions previously agreed upon between federal and state governments will remain in effect until June 5.

Thuringia's State Premier Bodo Ramelow (of the political party Die Linke) had announced that he would then waive the restrictions and apply them regionally at best, if the incidences of infection required it. Most recently, however, Ramelow stated that masks should continue to be mandatory in public transport and in shops.

In its draft resolution, the Chancellery distances itself from rapid relaxation. In it, Minister Braun suggests to the states that even after June 5, "a minimum distance of one and a half meters should continue to be observed as a matter of principle". In addition, the "mask obligation in certain public areas" should be maintained. Where possible, "private meetings should be held outdoors, as there is a considerably lower risk of infection“.

The virus is "still present and without such measures it spreads very quickly", the bill states. This is also shown "now by local outbreaks in institutions or at meetings“. Therefore "particularly in view of the gradual opening of all areas of life and the associated increase in contacts, it is essential that rules on distance and hygiene remain integrated into everyday life for as long as the pandemic is preventable or treatable by a vaccine or a cure".

According to her spokesperson Steffen Seibert, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to achieve that even after the current agreements expire next week there should still be "binding orders" and not just recommendations. With these guidelines, she said, Germany had "achieved so much together in the pandemic". Now it was important not to jeopardise progress. "We must be both courageous and vigilant", Seibert said.

He went on to say: "We have now reached the point where we can say that further steps towards easing and opening up are possible". However, rules on distance, hygiene and contact restrictions must always be adhered to. The recent outbreaks in Hesse and Lower Saxony had shown "what happens when basic rules are ignored".

Original text: (AFP)

Translation: Mareike Graepel

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