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Incidence rate under 100: Restaurants in Ahrweiler area allowed to open outdoor spaces

Incidence rate under 100 : Restaurants in Ahrweiler area allowed to open outdoor spaces

Because the incidence rate has been below 100 for seven days in a row, Ahrweiler district is calling off the "emergency brake". Beginning on Saturday, restaurants are allowed to open their outdoor areas.

The seven-day incidence rate in the Ahrweiler district has remained below 100 per 100,000 inhabitants for seven days - it is 82 . According to the state ordinance in effect, this means the district can cancel the "emergency brake" and issue a new general decree. It comes into force this Saturday, March 27, and is valid at least until April 11.

A curfew had been in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. but that is a thing of the past for the time being. And there is another important change: restaurants are allowed to open their outdoor seating for guests, "under strict hygiene conditions," according to the new decree. Museums, galleries and exhibitions are also reportedly allowed to receive visitors again. Body-related services such as cosmetic treatments, manicures, massage, tattoos and piercings may also reopen - "subject to appropriate safety measures." In the retail industry, shopping by appointment is also possible again.

A maximum of five persons from a maximum of two households are allowed to be together in public areas. Children up to and including 14 years of age are not included in this count. Amateur and recreational individual sports activities are permitted outdoors with limited group sizes: a maximum of five people from two households or groups of a maximum of 20 children up to and including 14 years of age.

Expressing his thoughts on the easing up of measures, District Administrator Jürgen Pföhler and the head of the district health office, Stefan Voss, say that the district is "skating on very thin ice.”

Head of German Hotel and Restaurant Association is surprised

Günther Uhl, chairman of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) in the Ahrweiler district is clearly surprised by the news of the openings. "I don't have any information on this yet. If this goes ahead without a valid negative test or proof of vaccination, we are fueling the pandemic," he warns. Uhl accuses politicians of "organizational chaos without a focus on the health of the population."

While he thinks it is good to open thing up, he believes it needs to be done in an organized manner. He does not believe in a quick opening for restaurants because he says they will need time to purchase supplies, among other things. "At Easter, perhaps," he says, referring to when it would make sense to open. For some establishments, opening is less costly than for others, according to Uhl. Ice cream parlors, for example, sell much of their merchandise over the counter anyway. Now they would only have to set up chairs outside. But even at ice cream shops, customers will have to present a negative Covid-19 test.

Meanwhile, the Rhineland-Palatinate Council of Ministers decided on Thursday to join in procuring the "luca" app, which can be used by the states for contact tracing. "From now on, wherever people come together, the 'luca' app can be used to record contacts and - in the event of a proven infection - enable tracing. This opens up prospects for further opening steps in the meantime," says District Administrator Pföhler.

(Orig. text: Sven Westbrock, Translation: Carol Kloeppel)