BERLIN / GÜTERSLOH (dpa-AFX) – Holidays in Corona times: With the beginning of the summer holidays in six federal states, significantly more visitors are on the coast of Germany. One or the other seaside resort was already reaching its capacity limits. In other regions, however, the rush was more moderate. And so far there have been no major traffic jams on the roads.
On Saturday at the Baltic Sea – in the Holstein holiday resorts of Scharbeutz and Haffkrug – the limits for parking spaces and for the beach were reached. The Lower Saxony North Sea resort of Dangast was also well utilized at the start of the holiday season. “Not 100 percent, but the tourist numbers are good,” said spa director Johann Taddigs of the dpa. Compliance with the corona rules also works. On the beaches, for example, the beach chairs were moved three meters apart so that the radius of 1.50 meters could be maintained.
As a rule, Germans can easily go on holiday in Germany – if they are not from the Gütersloh or Warendorf districts of North Rhine-Westphalia. After the corona outbreak in the meat factory in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, the federal and state governments agreed on restrictions for travelers from corona hotspots on Friday evening. According to this, they can only be accommodated in hotels and holiday apartments or enter a federal state without quarantine measures if they show with a certificate that they have no infection.
Thuringia does not care: “We will not issue a ban on entry or accommodation,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health on Saturday in Erfurt on request. Thuringia submitted a corresponding protocol declaration to the federal-state agreement on travel traffic on Friday.
Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) urged uniformity. “I appeal to everyone involved to stick to this compromise,” he told the German Press Agency on the announcement of Thuringia. “This is the only way to prevent a patchwork in Germany, especially in the travel-intensive summer months.”
In the district of Gütersloh, after a corona outbreak in the Tönnies meat business, the district with the highest number of infections nationwide, the important indicator of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within the past seven days, despite a downward trend, is still well above the decisive mark of 50. That goes out figures published on Saturday by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). At 164.2, Gütersloh is the only district in Germany above this mark. On Tuesday, the seven-day value per 100,000 inhabitants was still 270.2, according to the NRW Ministry of Health. In the seven days up to and including Friday, a total of 75 cases became known among people without Tönnies reference, according to the district. According to the RKI, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the neighboring district of Warendorf fell to only 19.8 cases.
After the incidents in the Tönnies slaughterhouse, the meat industry in North Rhine-Westphalia must have employees tested for the corona virus at least twice a week at their expense. The new stipulation applies from July 1st to slaughterhouses, cutting plants and primarily meat processing companies with more than 100 employees and regardless of whether they are their own employees or contractors, the State Ministry of Labor and Health in Düsseldorf announced.
“The incidents in Coesfeld and Gütersloh show that the virus can apparently spread particularly well under the conditions of a slaughterhouse or a meat processing company,” Minister Laumann said in a statement.
With a view to the Corona outbreak in NRW, the Greens in the Bundestag denounce a lack of determination at local and state level in the Bundestag in a letter to Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn and call for more cross-border coordination. “Despite the high number of infections, the consequences in North Rhine-Westphalia were only met with a long delay and a lack of determination,” says the justification in a letter to the minister, which was signed, among others, by Bundestag parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) warned citizens of careless behavior in view of the continuing dangers posed by the corona virus. “The threat from the virus remains serious,” she said in her weekly video message on Saturday. Merkel explicitly repeated her appeal from the beginning of the crisis in mid-March: “Take it seriously, because it is serious.”
At a virtual international donor conference, aid pledges of € 6.15 billion came together to help tackle the corona pandemic worldwide. The EU Commission alone promised another 4.9 billion euros, Chancellor Merkel an additional 383 million euros. “I firmly believe that vaccines, tests and medicines must be available, affordable and accessible worldwide. We must pursue this goal together,” said Merkel at the conference “Global Goal – Unite for Our Future”. Other large donations came from the USA and Canada, for example.
While travel within the EU is largely possible again, strict rules should continue to apply to most entries from non-EU countries into the European Union. For example, travelers from countries such as the USA, Russia and Brazil will only be allowed to come to the EU in exceptional cases after the end of this month, as the German press agency learned after the deliberations of the EU ambassadors on Friday evening. Only for people from around a dozen countries such as South Korea or New Zealand could the current entry restrictions be lifted in July./sax/DP/zb