The federal and state governments have adopted stricter contact restrictions. In NRW, these also apply within your own four walls, warns Prime Minister Laschet. Private gatherings are being restricted even more drastically.
Düsseldorf – The North Rhine-Westphalian cabinet will decide in a special meeting this Wednesday how to proceed in daycare centers and schools in the corona crisis. This will tie in with the regulations decided before Christmas, said Prime Minister Armin Laschet (59, CDU) on Tuesday evening in Düsseldorf after a switching conference by the federal and state governments on the corona crisis.
For the around 2.5 million students in North Rhine-Westphalia, compulsory classroom attendance was suspended in mid-December due to the corona pandemic. For pupils in the lower grades up to level seven, parents have since been able to choose whether their children attend classes at school or from home. For older students from grade eight, learning has been completely switched over to distance.
“There can still be changes – especially in the classes,” said Laschet. The aim is to have regulations that are as uniform as possible with the neighboring states of Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse.
Previously, the federal and state governments had agreed in a switching conference on various drastic restrictions until the end of the month. Schools are therefore generally closed or the compulsory attendance remains suspended. In addition, emergency care is to be ensured and distance learning is to be offered.
According to the federal-state resolution, day-care centers are also generally closed. There are additional opportunities for parents to take paid leave to look after their children during the period mentioned.
What that means in detail for North Rhine-Westphalia will now be discussed with the professional associations, said Laschet. The Ministers for School and Family, Yvonne Gebauer and Joachim Stamp (both FDP) are to present the NRW regulations in detail after the cabinet meeting.
In principle, NRW will implement the federal-state resolutions 1 to 1, assured Laschet. On January 25, the federal and state governments want to consult again.
On Tuesday, the Prime Ministers agreed with the Federal Chancellor on the following cuts:
Meetings outside of your own household will only be allowed with one other person. In districts in which more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants were reported within seven days, people should not be allowed to move more than 15 kilometers from their place of residence without good reason. On Tuesday, Herne was the only city in North Rhine-Westphalia above the 200 limit.
Day trips were not a valid reason, stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in Berlin. The way to work, however, explained Laschet in Düsseldorf. According to Merkel, the restriction of movement is about a 15-kilometer radius around the city – not about your own apartment.
When the police union had doubts that the 15-kilometer radius could not be controlled, Laschet said: “I stand by what we have decided. And what we have decided will be implemented. “
Anyone entering from a foreign risk area must in future be tested on arrival or in the 48 hours before. The obligation to a ten-day quarantine, which can be ended from the fifth day by a negative test, remains.
The retail trade remains closed. Exceptions apply to shops that cover daily needs. These include grocery stores, weekly markets, pick-up and delivery services.
The drastic contact restrictions apply in NRW in public spaces and also in your own four walls, Laschet emphasized. However, the apartments are still not checked without cause.
“At Christmas we had the very good experience that people kept to it without the police counting under the Christmas tree how many members were sitting there,” said Laschet. It is clear: “Parties and similar larger encounters are prevented.”
The new restrictions are also a way to get the situation in the Sauerland better under control than before with the municipal decrees, said Laschet. Ski resorts in the Sauerland and the Eifel had tried in vain in the past few days to curb the flow of snow-hungry day tourists.
The new contact rule means that a family of three cannot visit their grandparents together. And parents in need of care are only allowed to be visited by a relative who does not belong to the household, explained Laschet. For private gatherings, the following applies: one household and one additional person.
“The situation is still serious,” emphasized the Prime Minister. The death rate is still too high and the development of the number of infections is just as unclear as the effects of the virus mutant from Great Britain and South Africa. “In this respect, extreme caution is now required,” warned Laschet. “We now need tougher measures.”
The opposition leader in the Düsseldorf state parliament, Thomas Kutschaty (SPD), again called for a long-term corona strategy.
Laschet, who is also applying for the CDU federal chairmanship, defended the joint approach of the 27 EU countries when purchasing the corona vaccine. “A vaccination competition between individual EU member states with mutual competition on the markets would have had negative consequences for Germany and other countries.”
According to the Düsseldorf State Chancellery, more than 100,000 vaccine doses should have been retrieved from the North Rhine-Westphalia state camp by Wednesday.