Cologne The corona pandemic is now placing greater restrictions on one million people in Cologne: On Saturday, the city exceeded the limit of 50 for new infections and is now considered a risk area. Stricter rules have therefore been imposed.
In the corona pandemic, the city of Cologne has exceeded the crucial warning level of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days. On Sunday there was a total of 5,954 confirmed coronavirus cases in the territory of the city of Cologne, on Saturday there were still 5,837 cases. The incidence rate in Cologne is currently 59.7, whereas on Friday the figure was 49.8.
The Cologne city administration had expected the threshold to be crossed and therefore on Saturday ordered numerous restrictions on public life. In future, a face covering must be worn in public spaces where many people come into contact and the distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained. In addition, only five people are allowed to meet in public spaces - previously this number was limited to ten.
From 10pm onwards there is also a ban on alcohol consumption in public places. On weekends - from 8pm on Friday until 6am on Monday - there is also a ban on selling alcohol at party hotspots in the city. "For the time being, we will not be introducing a curfew, which means that restaurant owners and people eating out carry a special responsibility. Just because a few people break the rules, we do not want to punish everyone else," said Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker. But: "If we find that this responsibility is not being met, the curfew is another measure that we will take". The Mayor appealed to the common sense of all Cologne residents not to organise or take part in big celebrations, so as not to endanger the normality that has been achieved in some areas.
Dining or socialising in small groups in restaurants and pubs should continue to be possible. "We should now refrain from parties and company celebrations," says Reker. "We will not be able to stop the virus completely at the moment, but we can control it.”
Private parties outside the home are limited to a maximum of 25 people. Private parties in one's own home are strongly discouraged. Dinner with a few friends is possible, but no parties. According to the city council, ten people seems to be the maximum sensible number here.
The 50-limit for new infections had already been exceeded in Cologne twice in March and April, according to the NRW State Centre for Health (Landeszentrum Gesundheit) - at that time, however, such great importance had not yet been attached to this indicator.
It is now mandatory to wear a face covering at the following places in Cologne:
a) in all pedestrian zones in the city of Cologne
b) in the shopping streets, i.e. the streets which have a large number of retail stores that do not meet local needs alone; these are: Aachener Straße (city centre and Braunsfeld), Bonner Straße (city centre and Bayenthal), Breite Straße, Brüsseler Straße, Chlodwigplatz, Dellbrücker Hauptstraße, Deutzer Freiheit, Dürener Straße, Ehrenstraße, Eigelstein, Hauptstraße (Rodenkirchen), Höninger Weg (Zollstock), Kalker Hauptstraße, Neumarkt, Neusser Straße, Maastrichter Straße, Mittelstraße, Porz Zentrum, Severinstraße, Sülzburgstraße/Berrenrather Straße, Venloer Straße, Wiener Platz/Frankfurter Straße, Zülpicher Straße
c) in the old town (Altstadt)
d) on the Cologne ring roads
e) on the left bank of the river Rhine between the bridges ‘Mülheimer Brücke’ and ‘Südbrücke’
f) on the Rhine boulevard / Rhine promenade on the right bank of the river Rhine.
Exceptions: The obligation to wear a face covering does not apply to cyclists and those carrying out sport, as well as to children up to school age and persons who cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons; these medical reasons must be proven by a medical certificate, which must be presented on request.
(Original text: Michael Wrobel / dpa, Translation: Caroline Kusch)