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New rules from Friday: NRW announces further openings, relaxations of lockdown measures

New rules from Friday : NRW announces further openings, relaxations of lockdown measures

Cinemas, gyms, fewer contact restrictions and the opening of outdoor pools: NRW announces further relaxations and introduces a graduated plan for openings from Friday - depending on incidences. An overview of the planned rules.

North Rhine-Westphalia is introducing a new graduated timetable for openings in the Corona pandemic. The updated Corona Protection Ordinance will include three levels of incidence values that provide different opening steps for municipalities: a new infection rate below 35 calculated per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, the seven-day incidence from 35 to 50, and the 50 to 100 level, NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumamn (CDU) announced Wednesday in Düsseldorf.

Along with the relaxations, daycare centers in NRW are also to return to regular operation with a full number of hours - but not until June 7. Currently, the number of hours has reduced by ten hours per week, and the groups are separated. The state will continue to provide children and employees with two tests per week, announced Family Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP). In addition, the facilities would receive the child-friendly "Lolli" tests that parents conduct with their children at home in the morning.

Shopping without a Corona test

In municipalities with a stable seven-day incidence below 100, shopping at all retail outlets should again be possible without a prior negative Corona test. For example, if the incidence is below 35, an unlimited number of people from five households may meet, but if the incidence is between 50 and 100, only people from two households may meet.

There is now also an opening perspective for the non-school education sector in North Rhine-Westphalia. Thus, in municipalities with a stable seven-day incidence between 50 and 100, face-to-face lessons will again be possible from next week, even in extracurricular institutions, without limitation by persons and with Corona test proof, Laumann said.

Music lessons with singing or wind instruments will then be possible indoors with five people. If the incidence value (new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days) is between 50 and 35, then music lessons with singing are allowed with ten people.

Cinemas and theaters may reopen if incidence is below 100

In the cultural sector, events outside are permitted with up to 500 people if the incidence in the respective counties and independent cities is between 100 and 50. Up to 250 people with a negative test result may be admitted to concerts, theater, opera and also cinemas. If the incidence falls below 50, then up to 500 people are allowed.

Tourist bus tours are also possible again with an incidence below 100 together with testing and capacity limitation, if exclusively vaccinated or recovered persons participate or all wear masks.

The prerequisite in each case is that the incidence value in the respective areas is below the critical value of 100 for five consecutive days. Starting next Friday, the state's updated Corona Protection Ordinance will go into effect with a step-by-step roadmap for openings.

Opening steps planned for gyms, discos and brothels

Gyms and pools in many communities will soon be allowed to reopen under restrictions. If the seven-day incidence in the respective municipality is stable below 50, it will once again be possible to work out in fitness studios. That's according to the state government's phased plan, which goes into effect Friday. All pools, saunas and indoor playgrounds will then also be allowed to reopen, with testing and limits on the number of people. On Wednesday, 22 districts and cities in NRW had an incidence below 50 calculated per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days.

Private events - not including parties - are permitted with an incidence below 50 in the county or city outside with up to 100 guests tested and inside with up to 50. If the incidence falls below 35, private events are allowed outdoors with up to 250 guests without testing and indoors with up to 100 guests with testing.

When the statewide incidence drops below 50, amusement parks and casinos are also allowed to reopen with testing and limits on people. Excursion rides on boats, carriages or historic railroads will also be allowed again. The statewide incidence in NRW on Wednesday was 51.6.

If the incidence is below 35 in a county or city, outdoor pools may be visited without testing and brothels with testing. Outdoor discos are then allowed with a maximum of 100 people. From Sept. 1, clubs and discos will be allowed to reopen with an approved concept if the incidence is below 35 statewide.

Following sharp criticism from the restaurant industry, NRW is also relaxing a strict corona rule for restaurants and cafés. There must be a minimum distance of 1.50 meters between tables indoors, according to a letter from the health ministry in Düsseldorf on Wednesday. (In it i)It concerns the new version of the Corona protection regulation.

The regulation is to apply from Friday in counties and independent cities, whose incidence is below 50. Previously, it had been two meters minimum distance indoors and thus 50 centimeters more than in other states. This had caused annoyance in the hospitality industry, because it meant that fewer tables could fit in the rooms and thus fewer guests could be served indoors.

Original text: (dpa/epd)

Translation: Mareike Graepel