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Rising case numbers: Several NRW cities tighten corona rules

Rising case numbers : Several NRW cities tighten corona rules

In Remscheid, citizens are to wear mouth and nose protectors "everywhere in the city", Gelsenkirchen restricts private parties. Other NRW cities are also drawing consequences from the increased infection rates.

ue to rising infection figures, the city of Remscheid has significantly tightened its protective measures on Monday. "We recommend that citizens wear a mask everywhere in the city area," said Department Head Thomas Neuhaus, head of the crisis management team. However, the city has no legal authority to make masks mandatory. "But we believe in the effect of the mask," said Neuhaus.

Since the end of last week, infection rates have been rising sharply in some municipalities in NRW, including Gelsenkirchen, Hamm and Cologne. In Remscheid, the seven-day incidence is 37.05 - and thus above the first intervention threshold of the Corona Protection Ordinance of 35, also known as the early warning level.

Cities and districts with a seven-day incidence (infections in the past seven calendar days per 100,000 inhabitants) above 35 must agree concrete countermeasures with the responsible state authorities in NRW. Above a value of 50, the Corona Protection Ordinance stipulates that additional protective measures must be ordered.

In Gelsenkirchen, where the incidence value is 44.1, the number of guests at celebrations has been limited from 150 to 50. In addition, the new decree of Monday urgently appeals for celebrations in flats to be limited to a maximum of 25 participants. In addition, it remains open whether the first home match of the season of Bundesliga football club FC Schalke 04 may be played in front of fans on Saturday.

Cologne has also passed the early warning stage. Lord Mayor Henriette Reker (independent) appealed to the population to wear masks. This is especially true in "pedestrian zones and in places where many people meet,” said Reker. This also includes queues in front of restaurants or the retail trade. 460 people in Cologne are currently suffering from the corona virus.

Virologist Christian Drosten has advocated targeted restrictions instead of lockdowns. "Of course, you don't always need a Germany-wide or regional lockdown right away, because you already know a few things better now," said the Charité professor

In Hamm, a wedding celebration has probably ensured that the numbers have risen again significantly. According to information from the city, 58 of the 98 people currently infected there are connected with a wedding ceremony. There, the seven-day incidence value on Monday was 48.6. In Munich, people have to wear masks in selected public places from Thursday onwards.

At the same time, Remscheid is moving into the focus of a wage dispute in the public sector. After the second round of negotiations for the federal government and local authorities failed, Verdi has announced warning strikes for Tuesday. In Remscheid the union has called on all employees of the city administration, the technical companies and also the municipal day-care centres, to go on warning strikes. Verdi expects a total of about 100 colleagues to be on strike. However, there are not to be any day-care centre closures, emphasised Verdi trade union secretary Lothar Reitzer.

"However, there may be restrictions in individual day-care centres, so that certain services may be cancelled or parents may be asked to pick up their children earlier," Reitzer said. Furthermore, warning strikes are planned for Tuesday in Duisburg, Unna and Gütersloh.

Original text: Christian Schwerdtfeger and Christian Peiseler. Translation: Mareike Graepel