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Germany: Government Criticized for New Lockdown

A few hours after Angela Merkel announced a second semi-lockdown for Germany, record infection numbers showed the nation what kind of development she intends to stop. In spite of the numbers, the government’s step was criticized harshly.

Berlin, October 29th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — In Berlin, the Robert Koch Institute announced a record number of new Corona infections on Wednesday, namely 16,700 within one day. Comparing numbers provided by Johns Hopkins University increases that number to 23,417. This is how many new Corona cases were reported between Wednesday morning and this morning. Of course, the number always depends on when and for what time frame it is being reported.

Foregone Conclusion

With these numbers, almost anyone will understand the need for action. This is how Mrs. Merkel convinced the First Ministers from Germany’s federal states to agree to lockdown number 2 in Corona wave number 2. From Monday, November 2nd, 2020 contact restrictions will be tightened, domestic tourism will be forbidden.

Criticism was a foregone conclusion. When Wolfgang Kubicki, one of the Bundestag’s Vice Presidents, said the decisions that had been taken at the Chancellery yesterday were “unlawful”, he seemed to be fighting the insignificance of his tiny liberal party FDP during the ongoing Corona crisis. In an interview with the ‘Rheinische Post’ daily, Kubicki asked “involved parties” in the affected business areas to sue the government.

No Choice

Chancellor Merkel is usually not impressed by verbal attacks from the direction of the FDP. It is not the first time. Later today, she is scheduled to deliver a government statement at the Berlin Bundestag, during which she will most likely explain why she believes the government had no choice in regard to the new semi-lockdown. The latter is supposed to last until the end of November.

The Main Rules for Lockdown no. 2:

>> It last from November 2nd to November 30th, 2020, or until further notice.

>> The hygiene and distance rule remain in place.

>> Up to 10 people from up to two households may meet in public. Parties, even in private homes are “unacceptable” now.

>> Restaurants, pubs and similar businesses need to close unless they sell takeout food only.

>> People should not travel at all unless there is a very important reason. Visiting relatives is not considered a reason that would justify a trip.

>> Touristic overnight stays at hotels are forbidden.

>> Entertainment events are forbidden. Sports events may take place without audiences. People may do sports on their own.

>> Theaters, opera houses and concert halls need to close. The same applies to museums, fair halls, public swimming pools, saunas, fitness studios, casinos and brothels.

>> Schools and kindergartens remain open. During the first lockdown in spring, they were closed.

>> Retail businesses remain open. Most of them had to shut down during the first lockdown in March and April.

Berlin and Brandenburg

Apart from the FDP, artists, restaurant owners, representatives of sports organizations and others are criticizing the new semi-lockdown. They all say it was not their fault the Corona infection numbers were on the rise, and they are probably right about this aspect. Still, the government insists there was absolutely no alternative. Businesses affected will receive funds from the government’s Corona aid packages, individuals can always apply for support from the employment agencies.

In the meantime, four days before the new lockdown commences, the numbers keep on increasing. Even Brandenburg province is becoming a dangerous region. Eleven of its counties are already high risk areas, the remaining eight are close to being marked in red. In Berlin, 1,161 new Corona infections were reported within 24 hours. The German capital’s Seven Day Incidence Number stands at 144.3.