Bonn · At playgrounds in Corona times, as expected, many parents can be found with their children. But the mask rule is not always obeyed. Fines loom. There seem to be also a lot of people in the forests and on the banks of the Rhine
At playgrounds in Corona times, as expected, many parents can be found with their children. But the mask rule is not always obeyed. Fines loom. There seem to be also a lot of people in the forests and on the banks of the Rhine.
Maurice is on the swings, his parents watch their five-year-old play from a distance. This morning it’s a cold and wet day, but there is already a lot of movement between the climbing frame, the swings and the sandbox. Eight adults have come to the Waldau with their offspring this morning - but only two of them are wearing the mandatory mouth/nose protection. According to the state's Corona Protection Ordinance, masks are compulsory on playgrounds. Only children up to school age are exempt. Several clearly visible signs at the entrance to the playground point this out.
Charly Theis is very annoyed that the applicable rules are not being observed. He has come with his grandson. Like his grandfather, the seven-year-old wears a mask. "Of course, I can understand that many think you are protected from infection in the fresh air. We don't want to rely on that," the 74-year-old explains. "And if wearing a mask is prescribed, then we also comply with it.“
It's an argument that also holds water with Maurice's parents. "We thought that we only had to comply with the distance rules. We didn't even see the sign at the entrance to the playground," they retort, quickly pulling appropriate coverings from their bags. The situation is similar at most playgrounds in Bonn. Hardly any adult wears a prescribed face covering there, as a random check by the GA revealed. Yet "not wearing an everyday mask despite an existing obligation" can cost 50 euros according to the catalog of fines for the Corona Protection Ordinance.
Busy on the banks of the Rhine and on hiking trails
The situation is currently paradoxical: while masks are still compulsory in the pedestrian zones of Bonn and Bad Godesberg and the main shopping streets in Beuel and Hardtberg, although hardly anyone is out and about there, there is no such obligation either on walking and wall paths or along the banks of the Rhine. Especially there, sometimes hundreds of walkers, cyclists and joggers are on the move at the same time. Likewise in the Kottenforst between Röttgen and Ückesdorf. "There was more people here than on Sternstraße in the run-up to Christmas," smiles Margarete Koch, who is out and about as she does every morning with her friend Helene - equipped with walking sticks. "We are glad that we don't have to wear a mask in nature," they tell us. "Breathing is very difficult for me with it," says the 84-year-old. To ensure that they encounter few people, the two senior citizens set out early in the morning.
From the Kennedy Bridge, Julia and Marvin Klein have a good view of the current Rhine floods and inundations. Even though they don't actually have to wear protection, they both have FFP2 masks on. "In eight weeks, our first child will be born. We're not taking any chances," the mother-to-be explains. "In the meantime, I put on a mask myself when I open the front door." "Topless" on Sunday morning, Jens and Felix Heberle walk along Dahlmannstraße toward the banks of the Rhine. But already before the Wilhelm-Spiritus-Ufer is an end to the morning excursion. "We wanted to have a look at the high water and spend a few minutes in the fresh air," says father Jens, enjoying the short stop.
Even though the downtown stores are still closed, the mask requirement in the city center still applies. "It would be the wrong signal if this were to be lifted now," explains spokesman Marc Hoffmann from the press office. According to him, the crisis team reviews and evaluates the current developments in each case. "We have done well with this strategy so far," he adds. He adds that the city's public order service uses focal point checks to verify that the existing rules are being adhered to. "We keep an eye on it," says Hoffmann. At the same time, the spokesman emphasizes that in Bonn, the regulations are "very well observed" and there are only a few violations. "In this regard, we always find that the people of Bonn adhere to the measures and have a lot of understanding," he adds.
Margarete Koch, meanwhile, hopes her life will be easier again in a few weeks. "I already have a vaccination appointment. As soon as I know that I will be protected against illness, everyday life will be easier again," she is hopeful. Then she will also be able to arrange to go for a walk with her friend in the afternoon again.
(Original text: Gabriele Immenkeppel. Translation: Mareike Graepel)