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GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Next age group called for vaccinations in the WCCB, schools in Bonn return to distance learning, city is to receive three million Euro in state funding, and warehouse donation centre benefits from changes to sales tax - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

Corona vaccinations begin in Bonn for 77 and 78 year olds

BONN. Bonn residents born in 1942 and 1943 can now make appointments to be inoculated at the vaccination centre at the World Conference Centre Bonn (WCCB). Vaccinations are only given to those who have made an appointment to attend the centre in person. On Friday, the city of Bonn sent out information letters from the mayor Katja Dörner and the NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann to a total of 4,520 Bonn residents. The city is appealing for people to quickly book the first dates that are available so that the capacity for vaccination is optimally utilised. There is no need to wait for the information letter to book an appointment because the letter does not contain any personal access codes or the like. Those who are eligible as a Bonn resident and aged 77 or over can make appointments directly with the Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung (Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians) (www.116117.de and the telephone number 0800 11611701). Appointments can also be made for their partners.

The latest information about vaccinations from the city of Bonn can be found at www.bonn.de/impfen (information in English is also available about the vaccination centre at: https://www.bonn.de/microsite/en/services/medical-care/vaccination-center-in-the-world-conference-center.php).

70 to 79 year olds throughout NRW have been able to make appointments since 6 April, using the appointment booking systems of the Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. The first vaccinations started on Thursday. To avoid overloading the booking systems, the booking options for the age groups are activated on a year-by-year basis.

 (Original text: Nicolas Ottersbach)

Distance learning in Bonn schools from Monday and limited operation of Bonn nurseries

BONN. The state government has announced that while school pupils in North Rhine-Westphalia return to distance learning from Monday, 12 April following the Easter break, day-care centres will continue with limited regular operation. The final classes of secondary levels I and II, including qualification phase 1, as well as vocational colleges are excluded from distance learning.

From Monday onwards, all primary and secondary schools in Bonn will offer childcare for those pupils in grades 1 to 6 who cannot be adequately cared for at home, at the parents' request. “If there is a suspicion that a child’s well-being is at risk, the Youth Welfare Office can also take the initiative,” explained the municipal press office. This offer must also be ensured in consultation with the parents for pupils with special educational needs.

Based on the current situation, face-to-face learning in schools is to be resumed in alternating classes from 19 April - if infection levels permit. Basic tests will be compulsory in the schools with self-tests carried out twice a week.

The state government has said that nursery schools and day care are to continue in limited operation with a comprehensive test programme introduced from 12 April. Self-tests are provided by the state to all children and day care staff. The children are tested at home by their parents, and the tests are voluntary. In the coming week, the first tests are to be distributed to the day-care centres and carers via the agencies and youth welfare offices. “Alongside this, further deliveries are to begin, which will then be made directly to the facilities,” says the city of Bonn.

A positive self-test does not have to be reported to the public health department. However, a PCR test should be carried out immediately. All contacts should be avoided until the test date and self-isolation is required.

(Original text: Nicolas Ottersbach)

State government providing Bonn with three million Euro in funding

BONN. The state government is making a total of 368 million Euro available for the 2021 urban development programme. The NRW Construction and Home Affairs Minister Ina Scharrenbach (CDU) announced that funds from the state, the federal government and the EU are to be made available for 294 projects in 214 cities and municipalities throughout North Rhine-Westphalia.

Bonn is also benefiting from this funding and is to receive three million Euro. According to Guido Déus (CDU), member of the State Parliament for Bonn, the money will be used for urban redevelopment at the entrances to the city on Budapester Strasse and Thomas-Mann-Strasse, for project management, and for public involvement and public relations work for the ‘Inner City Bonn 2.0’ master plan.

Specifically, the following is envisaged: the green space around the Windeckbunker on Budapester Straße is being redesigned. As the only green space in the pedestrian zone, it is important for recreation and urban design, says Déus. To enhance the public space at the railway station, the entrances will be designed artistically. The exit to the tramway on Thomas-Mann-Straße will also be upgraded with new flooring, walls and ceilings.

“Successful urban development always means adapting to change. The challenges of today are the corona pandemic and the digitalisation of all areas of life, especially for city centres and town centres. Funding for urban development funding helps to break new ground,” Scharrenbach continued. Federal Minister of Construction Horst Seehofer (CSU) added: "We want cities and municipalities all over Germany to develop in a future-oriented and sustainable way. That is why the federal government is funding urban development with 900 million Euro this year. We are investing in our homeland.”

 (Original text: gue)

Zesabo benefits from change in sales tax for donations

BONN. Two events happily came together: The Central Warehouse for Donations in Bonn (Zesabo) has expanded its warehouse at the same time as the Federal Ministry of Finance decided to abolish VAT on material donations from retailers.

Now Jan Meyer and Jochen Müller from the Zesabo warehouse are calling on retailers to donate their unsold goods rather than disposing of them. “We have the space,” they say, and are supported by the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) under the motto “Spenden statt Wegschmeißen” (Donate instead of throwing away). “Up to now, it has been more expensive for businesses to donate unsold clothing instead of destroying it due to the sales tax,” says Alina Turnwald from the IHK in a press release. Zesabo operations manager Meyer explains: “Those who donate new goods issue a pro-forma invoice, which then also shows the VAT. We issue a receipt, also including VAT, and the traders have to pay it.” Particularly in Corona times however, many companies have to keep an eye their money, and so far, throwing away has been the cheaper alternative. But now the Federal Ministry of Finance has “removed a weighty hurdle to the willingness to donate”, Turnwald writes.

Now the retail trade is faced with the question of who will take the unsold winter goods, Meyer said. “And here Zesabo says: We will!” The warehouse now has enough available space because without knowing about the Ministry of Finance’s decision, they had purchased new high-level shelving units for a separate room in the back which can fit 117 pallets. Monetary donations for this came from the Bonn Lions Club, the Bonn-Kreuzberg Rotary Club, Eaton Industries and the Deutsche Post DHL Improving Lives Fund as well as from private individuals.

The company Bito-Lagertechnik from Meisenheim in the Palatinate region, which has already equipped the entire central warehouse, also contributed the high-level shelving units, and the Kerpen-based company Pelzer Fördertechnik gave a discount on a lifting truck. The current high-level shelves are already partially full due to a delivery of 27 pallets of hygiene products from a company in Switzerland.

Furthermore, Zesabo is looking for support to finance the hall in Endenich. According to Meyer, the rent is 60,000 Euro a year, plus ancillary and other costs. 2000 helpers are needed to give at least 30 euros a year. There are still 1303 missing, although many people are also donating higher amounts.

ZeSaBo distributes goods to more than 300 registered buyers, who pass them on to 19,917 people in need at present. Around 220,000 items are handed in every year, and all this is done on a voluntary basis. The warehouse was also erected by two volunteers in four days. According to Meyer, more than 10,000 pieces of merchandise were distributed in January and February despite the corona lockdown. “We do what we can, but we also need more help.” At the moment donations cannot be delivered in Bonn due to the high incidence rates.

 (Original text: Stefan Knopp)

 (Translations: Caroline Kusch)