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Germany: Saxony Announces Stricter Corona Rules Due to High Infection Numbers

The government of the federal state of Saxony announced tightened Corona rules because of extremely high infection numbers. The state parliament is supposed to approve the plans on Friday.

Berlin, December 8th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — In Dresden, Saxony’s First Minister Michael Kretschmer announced a tightening of the contact restrictions and other Corona rules in his federal state on Tuesday. The announcement is no surprise, because the number of infections skyrocketed in the past days. Saxony has become the Corona “frontrunner” in Germany, as Kretschmer put it.

Easing of Rules for Christmas

The Seven Day Incidence Number for Saxony stands at 322 right now. Some counties in the state reported levels of almost 500. According to reports by German-language media, the counties with the highest numbers are also the biggest AfD strongholds. The extremist right-wing party rejects the German government’s anti-Corona measures.

First Minister Michael Kretschmer and his Commerce Minister Martin Duhlig said, the contact restrictions in Saxony would be changed. From December 23rd at noon to December 27th at noon, up to ten people may gather. Before and afterwards, the limit is five. Children up to 14 years of age are not counted. All of this will apply if the state parliament in Dresden approves the plans details of which are still being worked on at the Ministry of Justice in Dresden.

Masks Mandatory in Public Areas

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and the First Ministers had agreed to tighter Corona rules for the entire country in late November. The measures were put in place on December 2nd, 2020. Since then, up to five people from two households may gather, but children aged 14 or less are not being counted here either. For Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the restrictions were eased. Berlin and Bavaria have already opted out in part. They introduced even tighter restrictions. Saxony, the state with the highest numbers right now, seems to be next.

Kretschmer also announced, masks would be mandatory in all public areas except for forests. Hotels in Saxony will be open for individuals who are visiting their families. But tourists are not allowed to stay at hotels in Germany, at this stage.

Saxony has had a total of more than 71,000 Coronavirus infections since the pandemic started. The number of related deaths in the state is above 1,300. Almost 2,500 Corona patients in Saxony are being treated at hospitals, 458 of them in ICUs. In the past months, First Minister Kretschmer was one of those who rejected stricter rules. Now that his state is in this bad situation, he announced tighter restrictions.