Despite the strict measures taken in Germany for two months and the slight decrease in new cases in recent days, there was no noticeable relief in the fight against the Corona virus. Therefore, it was decided to extend the restrictions until January 31, and to partially tighten the measures.
Meeting with the heads of government of 16 states at a video conference today, Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that the virus could not be controlled, on the contrary, it mutated in England and other countries and gained an even more dangerous dimension, and that the increase in loss of life continues. He said he was waiting.
Drawing attention to the fullness of intensive care units, Merkel stated that the health system is in a difficult situation. Despite the precautions that have been valid to date, the 7-day Corona virus transmission rate in Germany continues as 140 per 100 thousand people. Stating that they are far from the target of reducing the number of new cases to below 50 per 100 thousand people in a week, Merkel stated that there is no option but to extend the measures and partially take new measures.
Vaccination will take a long time
The German Chancellor reminded that the vaccination, which is seen as the most important weapon in the fight against the epidemic, will take longer. The goal of vaccination is to complete the vaccination of all healthcare professionals above the age of 75, those staying in nursing homes and dormitories by the end of the month. As soon as vaccination mobilization started in Germany, it was revealed that there were not enough vaccines, and only 265 thousand vaccines were made in the first 9 days.
Additional measures for hot spots
According to the new measures from today’s meeting, those who live in areas where the Corona virus cases are very high, the transmission rate exceeds 200 per 100 thousand people and the epidemic defined as the hot spot is the most intense, are prohibited from leaving their homes more than 15 kilometers.
It is estimated that this measure aims to prevent mass trips to winter sports centers, as has often happened in recent days. As of today, 70 regions in Germany are defined as ‘hot spots’.
Within the framework of the measures that have been valid and extended since December 15, all stores will be closed, except where basic necessities are sold; In addition to restaurants and bars, barbers, hairdressers, beauty centers and massage parlors and tattooists will remain closed. While private travels within the country are not allowed, hotels that remain open will only be able to host business travelers. The ban on alcohol consumption in public space will continue.
Education will continue gradually
The schedule for schools to start classes again will not be normalized for a longer period of time.
Face-to-face training is planned to start in three stages at the earliest in February. In the first stage, it is aimed that primary school students will teach face-to-face and upper classes will receive distance education. In the second phase, possibly in March, the classes of 7 and above will be divided into two separate groups, that is, gradually they will continue their lessons. In the third phase, all students will start classes regularly, possibly from April.
Due diligence will be held on January 25
The government also aims to prevent the epidemic from entering the country from abroad by requesting the Corona test from everyone from non-European Union countries. The Federal Ministry of Health will regulate the test requirement to cover all future passengers except Schengen member countries. After the cases with the mutated virus emerged in England, Germany canceled all flights with this country and South Africa before Christmas and stopped passengers’ entry permits.
Prime Minister Merkel reportedly will meet with the state prime ministers on January 25 to discuss whether the restriction will continue in February.
On the other hand, Austria announced that the Corona virus measures were extended. Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober announced that the restrictions, scheduled to expire on January 18, have been extended by January 24. In this context, shops, markets and restaurants throughout the country will continue to be closed. Travel restrictions within the scope of the countries which have been declared risky, such as Germany and Turkey, while those who went to Austria after their entry into the country will be kept in quarantine for 10 days.