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Limit for private parties and stricter check-ups: City of Bonn tightens corona rules due to increasing number of cases

Limit for private parties and stricter check-ups : City of Bonn tightens corona rules due to increasing number of cases

In view of rising corona figures in Bonn, the city council is taking more stringent measures. These concern private parties and the catering trade. In contrast, the administration considers looser quarantine regulations at schools to be acceptable.

With 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week, clear protective measures are to be implemented - as provided for in the Corona Protection Ordinance. With a value of 34.85 it is almost reached in Bonn. At the Corona press conference on Wednesday afternoon in the Stadthaus, city director Wolfgang Fuchs explained the further procedure.

The first thing the administration is now planning is to reduce the number of private parties in public spaces or rented premises from 150 to 50 people. Tracking contacts in bars and restaurants has not always worked smoothly, and from now on this will be tightened up and, above all, checked across the board. Since the current Corona Protection Ordinance came into force on 1 October, the city planning service has checked lists with contact details in 27 restaurants. The result: Of 273 name entries checked, 15 were incorrect. These guests must now expect a fine of 250 Euro.

But that is not the only problem: recently, a small restaurant attracted attention that was serving too many guests, says Günter Dick, head of Bonn's Citizens' Services. 104 people had been together in a very confined space. A total of four innkeepers are facing a 1000 Euro fine for a "considerable violation of the regulations". Dick also announced that large Martin trains are to be cancelled in agreement with the organisers. Only smaller ones, for example in kindergartens, could take place.

1700 notices and 1150 fines

The public order office currently has 1700 complaints to deal with and 1150 fine notices to issue. Nine complaints deal with mask offences, whereby the city recommends that the mouth-and-nose protection be worn even outdoors. Checks on local traffic are also being continued.

So far, 4000 people have been quarantined in schools. Since Monday, 550 have been added, said Susanne Engels, acting head of the municipal health department. This is a peak figure. Fuchs considers it untenable in the long term that the whole class should be sent away immediately in case of an infection. If distances and hygiene regulations are observed and mouth and nose protection is worn, the city therefore wants to deviate from the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute and take a differentiated view of quarantine decisions.

According to Engels, the decision was made to no longer test children and adolescents without symptoms who are first-degree contact persons. Only the special schools were an exception. This also answers the question of a family with children at the Marie Kahle School, where one pupil had not yet had a smear test after a positive test of her mother. This family is in quarantine. Moreover, the city recommends that the youths at secondary schools wear masks again in class. It is still not clear what will happen to sports in gymnasiums: the city is waiting for a signal from the Conference of Education Ministers. For the time being, the regulations for indoor swimming pools will not change, although a new expert report is to be published in the next two weeks.

Cross-ventilation is possible practically everywhere

Lutz Leide, head of municipal building management, believes that the schools are well equipped. The important cross-ventilation is now possible practically everywhere. An exception are four rooms at the Friedrich-List vocational college, where high-performance air cleaning equipment is used. These are the only available devices that guarantee a virologically effective, maintenance-free and sufficiently quiet air exchange for school operation. Since such a device costs about 4500 Euro, it can only be purchased in individual cases. According to the latest findings, regular, three- to five-minute short, intensive airing in combination with cross-ventilation is usually sufficient.

There is also good news: According to this, the course of the disease is no longer as severe as in the beginning, said Fuchs. "The hospital capacities are far from exhausted. Currently, four people are being ventilated in Bonn. There were enquiries from abroad as to whether Bonn could admit patients for treatment. According to the city, there are currently no outbreaks in old people's homes either. Those who have to go to the town hall to see the authorities have no further restrictions to fear. Masks are still compulsory there. The stricter rules have not yet been decided and still have to be discussed with the state.

(Original text: Richard Bongartz and Thomas Leurs / Translation: Mareike Graepel)