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Coronavirus in NRW: State plans tougher corona regulations for private parties

Coronavirus in NRW : State plans tougher corona regulations for private parties

Dozens of people contracted the coronavirus after attending a wedding celebration in Hamm. NRW State Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann has now announced that the regulations and requirements for private celebrations will be made more stringent.

As a consequence of violations of the corona protection measures at a wedding celebration in Hamm, the regulations will be tightened state wide from October. "We will write into the Corona Protection Ordinance that private celebrations must be registered two weeks in advance with the public order office", said North Rhine-Westphalia Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) on Thursday on a WDR 2 radio program. As the Düsseldorf Ministry of Health announced, "private celebrations of special occasions in public places" - such as anniversaries, weddings, baptisms, birthday and graduation parties - must be registered with the local public order office at least two weeks in advance if the number of participants exceeds 50.

A person in charge of the celebration must also be named and a guest list submitted. "Then the public order office can control such celebrations", said Laumann. The celebration in Hamm had been larger than allowed. Besides that, the list of participants had not been recorded properly, which made tracking difficult. Under those circumstances, the party should not have taken place at all.

The new measures are intended to enable the offices to trace which celebrations are taking place in each community and, if necessary, to check whether the provisions of the Corona Protection Ordinance are being observed. The celebrations are still limited to a maximum of 150 participants.

A government spokesman in Düsseldorf also made it clear that the private events in public spaces only need to be registered, no approval procedure is taking place. For private celebrations, the state has decided not to intervene through bans and official controls, but relies on the personal responsibility of the people. The current Corona Protection Ordinance is valid up to and including September 30. The announced change is to be included in the new Corona Protection Ordinance from October 1.

The cities reacted positively to the tougher regulations. Helmut Dedy, Managing Director of the NRW Association of Cities and Towns, told our editorial team: "We have noticed that the current rise in infection figures in some cities is mainly due to private parties and celebrations. We have to take the necessary steps to counteract this trend".

In the city of Hamm, the number of new corona infections climbed to the highest level in Germany. Since Wednesday, a total of five persons or only people from two households are allowed to be together in public places in Hamm as a safeguard against the pandemic.

(Orig. text: dpa; Translation: ck)