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Corona measures: What does the 15-kilometre restriction mean for Bonn and the region?

Corona measures : What does the 15-kilometre restriction mean for Bonn and the region?

People are facing stricter measures in the Corona pandemic. One of the new restrictions is a movement radius for residents living in Corona hotspots. What consequences would this have for Bonn and the region?

The federal and state governments agreed on Tuesday to extend the lockdown until 31 January and to tighten it in parts: Members of a household may now only meet with one person not living in the household. And: people in hotspot regions, where the number of confirmed new infections is more than 200 per 100,000 inhabitants within one week, are only to move within a radius of 15 kilometres from their place of residence.

NRW Vice-Minister President Joachim Stamp (FDP) has described the new 15-kilometre regulation merely as a "possibility" for regions in NRW particularly affected by the coronavirus. This step would have to be discussed with the state health ministry in each case, he said in Düsseldorf on Wednesday. Upon request, the responsible Ministry of Health of the State of NRW did not yet comment on whether the radius of 15 kilometres would be measured from the city limits or from the respective address of each resident. According to the press office, coordination is still underway on how NRW's Corona Protection Ordinance will be changed in light of the new measures. In a press conference on Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel defined place of residence so that city limits apply. Within a city like Berlin, movement would thus be unrestricted. Whether the radius outside one's own city or municipality would thus only apply from the city limits or from one's own address, however, remained unclear at first.

The two scenarios would therefore turn out very differently for the people of Bonn. In Bonn, the number of infections is currently around 125 per 100,000 inhabitants within a week, in the Rhein-Sieg district and in the district of Ahrweiler it is less than 100. This means that Bonn and the region are currently still spared from the movement restriction. Before Christmas, however, the so-called incidence value in Bonn was around 240. Since more tests are now being carried out after the holidays and more people are visiting the doctor again, the now low value could rise again and a movement restriction could therefore follow.

Scenario 1: Radius starts at the city boundaries

If there is movement restriction, people who live in Bonn can still get to large parts of the Rhein-Sieg district, for example Siegburg, Lohmar, Königswinter or Bad Honnef. Some towns in the Ahrweiler district, such as Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Remagen or Sinzing, are also still within the radius. On the Rhine, however, the freedom of movement ends after Sinzig. Even the municipalities of Altenahr and Adenau, popular hiking regions and home to the Nürburgring, are no longer accessible. On the other side of the Rhine, Bonners would still be able to get as far as Linz am Rhein and Asbach. But excursions to Neuwied or Koblenz would no longer be possible. The Bonners would also no longer be able to get to Cologne. In this direction, the 15-kilometre radius ends at Rodenkirchen.

Those who live in Siegburg would be able to get a little further into Cologne if their mobility were restricted, namely as far as the districts of Westhoven, Porz or Rath/Heumar on the right bank of the Rhine. The people of Siegburg could also get as far as Bonn. But they would no longer be able to travel as far as Bornheim. Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler is also no longer within the radius. Königswinter and Bad Honnef would still be accessible for them. However, it would end at the Rhineland-Palatinate state border. The residents of Siegburg would no longer be able to reach the municipalities of Linz and Asbach.

Bad Honnef residents would have to travel a little further: for them, the Linz and Asbach municipalities are still within a 15-kilometre radius. They could also travel to Sankt August, Siegburg and Bad Neuenahr. In the direction of Bonn, however, the radius for Bad Honnef residents ends in the district of Tannenbusch. The inner-city areas of Bonn would still be accessible. Cologne, however, would be a long way away.

For the inhabitants of the district town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, not only Cologne would be unreachable, but also the inner-city areas of Bonn. With a radius of 15 kilometres, the inhabitants of the district town would only get as far as Bad Godesberg or the Kottenforst. Trips to the Nürburgring would also no longer be possible.

Scenario 2: Radius starts at the home address

If the radius of 15 kilometres applies from the respective address of the resident, differences would arise for citizens, especially in a large city. Depending on the district, different places would become accessible or taboo for residents in Bonn. Those who live in the city centre of Bonn (measured from Bonn's main railway station) can still travel to Siegburg or Bad Honnef. The Rhineland-Palatinate state border would also be the radius limit. In the direction of Cologne, you would only get as far as Wesseling, and Brühl would no longer be accessible.

If you live in Tannenbusch (measured from the junction of Oppelner Straße/Schlesienstraße), you would still get as far as Brühl or Meschenich. However, you would no longer be able to get to Bad Honnef.

People living in Bad Godesberg (measured from the station) would not only get to Bad Honnef, but to Remagen or Linz am Rhein. In the opposite direction, however, residents would only get as far as Hersel or Bornheim.

Even if the regulation is not yet clearly defined, one thing is certain: Those who do not have a "valid reason" should not leave the radius around their place of residence because of the restriction of freedom of movement. A "valid reason" is, for example, the way to work - day-trip excursions are not included. The German Association of Towns and Municipalities doubts the feasibility of the restricted movement radius. "It is clear that additional measures must be taken in areas with very high incidences," said Chief Executive Gerd Landsberg on Wednesday. However, such a restricted movement radius is hardly controllable and it is questionable whether it will ultimately have an effect due to the many exceptions, Landsberg said.

(Original text: (ga, dpa) / Translation: Mareike Graepel)