Bonn As of Wednesday, only vaccinated and recovered people are allowed to visit the Bonn Christmas market. The Protestant Church reacts to the city's announcement and tightens the rules for admission to the Kreuzkirche. Corona test centres feel stronger demand.
The city will introduce the 2G rule at the Bonn Christmas Market. As the press office announced late Monday afternoon, the administration made this decision due to the increasingly critical Corona situation. In Bonn, the incidence of newly infected persons was 128 within the past seven days on Monday, and 85.3 on November 9.
For visitors to the Christmas market, which will open this Wednesday, this means they must either be vaccinated or recovered if they want to attend the event in the city centre. Exceptions to the 2G rule apply to children up to the age of twelve, as they are regularly PCR-tested in their nurseries and schools with the so-called Lolli test. Adolescents from twelve to 18 years of age require a test no more than 24 hours old to participate in the Christmas Market, unless they have been vaccinated. For passers-by who merely cross the Christmas market area, however, the 2G rule does not apply, according to the press office.
Kreuzkirche also switches to 2G
Since the city organises the Christmas market itself, the public order service is primarily responsible for controls. The city wants to check compliance with the rules on a random basis. According to the city, the administration has received "a positive signal" from the state for the implementation for 2G, which is to come into force on Wednesday by general decree. At the same time, the administration is checking whether it can introduce a mask requirement in the entire city centre area during the event days until December 23.
"We want the Christmas market to take place, which is why it must be as safe as possible for visitors," said Mayor Katja Dörner (Greens), explaining the move. At the same time, she appealed to the state government: "A uniform 2G regulation is overdue in order to pull the ripcord with regard to the burden on the health system." The Protestant church reacted immediately to the city's announcement and announced that the Kreuzkirche at Kaiserplatz would introduce the 2G rule and the mask requirement at the square at all concerts until further notice. Proofs would be checked at the entrance.
Increased demand at test centres
Meanwhile, testing centres are feeling increased demand since the reintroduction of free Corona tests since last Saturday. Pharmacist Jacqueline Paprotny told the GA that about three times more people had been tested for Corona at the Lion Pharmacy on the Market Square this weekend than the weekend before. Paprotny oversees four other test centres in Bonn and three in the Rhein-Sieg district in addition to this one. "Most recently, it was mainly unvaccinated people who got tested or vaccinated people who were invited to family parties and wanted to be on the safe side," Paprotny reports. Now she expects that the free tests, which are offered once a week, will be in greater demand again. She had reckoned with the change to the free citizen tests and accordingly scheduled more staff for the weekend and the days that follow now. "We have also restocked.“
The Covid centre next to the Old Town Hall conducted 200 tests last weekend instead of the 60 on the previous weekend. According to the operator, MediCov GmbH, there are plans to expand the service and additional staff will be assigned.
Deputy city spokesman Marc Hoffmann told the GA that first test sites would apply for re-opening or new opening. "These applications will be processed promptly," Hoffmann said. As the staff for the regular queries are currently tied up in the coordinating Covid vaccination units, the city does not currently have an overview of which test centres are all available. There are plans to publish the names of those centres on the city's website that agree, he said. The city expects an update in the course of the week. So far, the health department has no reason to believe that there are not enough test centres available. Should it find an additional need, the health department will approach the testing centres and launch an appeal.
(Original text: Philipp Königs / Translation: Mareike Graepel)