Bonn · This Friday, the City of Bonn explained the impact of the revised Corona Protection Ordinance on museums, theaters and municipal institutions. On the weekend, the public order office wants to step up its monitoring for compliance.
Stricter measures are being adopted to fight Covid-19: How will they impact life in Bonn in the coming weeks? Representatives of the city administration addressed this question on Friday afternoon in the Stadthaus where the city administration is located. Restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities, and city administration offices are all affected by the restrictions.
Municipal facilities: While theaters and museums are being closed and educational institutions such as adult education centers and music centers have largely ceased operations, the municipal library and municipal archives are still available to citizens - albeit under the previous restrictions. The service center for citizens will also remain in operation.
Stores: The number of customers is limited to one person per ten square meters of retail space. Exhibitions and special or annual markets are prohibited, but weekly markets (with mandatory mask wearing) remain open. To help avoid crowding, Bonn’s stores will be permitted to open on five Sundays: November 29, December 6, 13 and 20, as well as January 3 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Public spaces: As in the entire country, the 1.50-meter minimum distance rule still applies and masks are mandatory where there are crowds of people. Parents who supervise their children in playgrounds must also wear a mask. Individual sports with up to two people or people from their own household are permitted. Municipal sports facilities, such as the running tracks, are expressly open for training, as the head of the sports office Stefan Günther emphasized on Friday and encouraged the Bonn residents to take part in sports.
Monitoring: Günter Dick of the public order office made the following appeal to Bonn residents: "We strongly advise against celebrating Halloween with the usual customs.” Especially on the weekend, he said, they would step up their controls. "We are in contact with the police and have made arrangements for the main areas of operation," he said. On behalf of the health department, Susanne Engels described the situation as "somewhat strained" in view of the soaring incidence rate. Starting on Monday, 20 Bundeswehr soldiers will be assigned to help with recording and contact tracing.
Swimming pools: Here there was good news, at least for Bonn's school children: school swimming will continue to take place, as will school sports. For all other Bonn residents, including the swimming clubs, the indoor swimming pool season is over after just under a month.
Fitness studios: Norman Kähler, co-owner of Sportfabrik Bonn, describes the renewed forced closures as a “disaster" for his industry. Especially since he considers fitness studios to be health rather than leisure facilities. Using this argument, he has appealed to members of the Bonn state parliament in a letter he sent, pointing out the comprehensive hygiene concepts they have in place.
"We are particularly good at regulating distances by how we place our equipment," says Kähler. Meanwhile, necessity has made him inventive: In a letter to his customers, he offers them not only an online training program but also a shopping service. And: On order, he delivers fitness equipment to people’s home - everything from weights to “spinning” bikes. Many Bonn residents could be creating a gym within their own four walls in the next few weeks.
Churches: In contrast to theaters, soccer stadiums or restaurants, churches can remain open. And in contrast to schools, for example, singing will be allowed in churches. "The renewed lockdown represents a mental burden for many. Especially in these difficult times it is important that church is there for the people", says Bonn's city dean Wolfgang Picken.
However, strict and detailed hygiene regulations also apply in the churches. When the incidence rate is over 50, all churchgoers six years and older must also wear a mask at their seat. Celebrants, liturgical services, lecturers and cantors are exempt from this requirement - but must maintain the minimum distance. A maximum of 250 people are permitted per service, or fewer depending on the size of the church. Holy water basins remain empty until further notice, and more detailed regulations also govern the ritual of communion.
For those who enjoy music, the churches could also offer a little respite in the coming weeks with concert halls closed. Spiritual concerts can be held under the same conditions that apply to church services. Bonn Superintendent Dietmar Pistorius explains: “Church yes, but safety is our motto. We are acting very cautiously and have had a positive experience with our good safety concepts since May. We are now in a phase that requires even more attention and caution.” Pastor Joachim Gerhardt of the Luther Church in Südstadt added that Protestant churches had also been adhering to the distancing requirements, offering fewer places.
Orig. text: Rüdiger Franz