Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Saarland – first federal states loosen restrictions

Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Saarland - first federal states loosen restrictions

© WELT / Nicole Fuchs-Wiecha
Saxony-Anhalt was the first federal state to relax the contact restriction from two to five people due to the corona pandemic. The federal state is also a pioneer in other areas, and for a reason. Source: WELT / Nicole Fuchs-Wiecha

Saxony-Anhalt’s cabinet has cleared the way for numerous further easing of the corona restrictions. In the future, for example, the contact restrictions will be less stringent: From Monday onwards, five people can travel together, even if they don’t live in one household. Until now, only one person outside the household was allowed to be accompanied. So Saxony-Anhalt is leading the way. After a switch from the federal and state governments on Thursday, the federal government had announced that the strict contact restrictions would continue to apply.

In addition, there will no longer be a good reason to leave the house in the future. Since March 23, the Saxon-Anhalter were only allowed to meet with one other person.

From Monday onwards, all retail stores are allowed to reopen regardless of the size of their retail space, but they must meet certain requirements. The fifth containment regulation provides for this, which the cabinet launched on Saturday in Magdeburg. Accordingly, hairdressers, massage and foot care practices, nail and cosmetic studios as well as driving schools are allowed to open as planned.

Club sports are also allowed again on Monday in groups of up to five people. Interior minister Holger Stahlknecht (CDU) said, for example, that it was possible to row again, do athletics, play football, and tennis and horse riding. Club sport is possible outdoors and in swimming pools, in groups of up to five people.

The decision was guided by recommendations from the Conference of Ministers of Sport, which met in two conference calls. The requirement is freedom of contact in sports and a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. Stahlknecht said it was a return to leisure sports.

It is also planned that children’s playgrounds can be used again under certain conditions. According to the State Chancellery, the cabinet has set 8 May as the starting date. The prerequisite is that the counties allow this in individual cases or by general decree. The playgrounds were closed for almost eight weeks due to the corona pandemic.

Residents of old people’s and nursing homes will be allowed to visit again in the future. The State Chancellery said that from May 11, one person per day is allowed to visit. The guests would have to wear mouth-nose protection, which will be provided by the home. The ban on visits in recent weeks has thus been lifted.

Low infection numbers in Saxony-Anhalt

The reason for the easing is the comparatively low infection rate in Saxony-Anhalt. So far, the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 has been detected in 1577 people, few are added every day. Five new infections were registered from Friday to Saturday. So far, 44 infected people have died, only fewer deaths in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (18) and Bremen (30). It is estimated that 1200 people have recovered from an infection.

At the same time, the effects of the corona restrictions on everyone, social life and the economy are massive. In April almost every fourth employee in the country was affected by short-time work, which was more than 190,000 employees. The unemployment rate rose by 0.7 points compared to March to 7.8 percent.

Saxony follows suit

From Monday on, relaxed anti-corona rules will also apply in Saxony. “With the new Corona Protection Ordinance, we are gradually moving towards normality. A normality with Corona, ”said Saxony’s Environment Minister and Vice Government Chief Wolfram Günther (Greens). The government of Saxony had agreed on a new corona protection regulation on Thursday evening. The rules apply until May 20. “After May 20, we have to come up with systematic regulations for those who are now not earning an income: creative professionals, artists, but also gastronomy and the hotel industry,” says Günther.

Carolin Loh (l.) And Thomas Salwiczek from Halle City Marketing are wearing reusable mouth-nose makeshift masks bearing the Halle / Saale brand on the town's market square

© dpa / Hendrik Schmidt
Carolin Loh (l.) And Thomas Salwiczek from Halle City Marketing are wearing reusable mouth-nose makeshift masks bearing the Halle / Saale brand on the town’s market square

From Monday, memorials, libraries, archives, museums, exhibitions, galleries and zoos may reopen in the Free State. The same applies to playgrounds – if there is a hygiene concept. Outdoor sports facilities are also permitted to be used again if the rules and hygiene are observed. In addition, hairdressers and beauty salons can again receive customers under strict conditions.

As of Monday, services are allowed for more than 15 people, rallies in the open air for up to 50 participants. The minimum distance and hygiene rules must be observed. Larger shops are allowed to open if they limit their retail space to 800 square meters. Shopping centers must present concepts before opening and coordinate them with the health department. Furniture stores are allowed to reopen regardless of their size and without restrictions. The Ikea furniture chain announced on Saturday that the branches in Saxony – in Chemnitz and Dresden – would reopen on Monday.

From May 6, pupils in high schools, vocational schools, high schools and special schools can return to the schools that will graduate in 2021. In elementary and special schools, grade 4 is allowed to go back to class.

On Saturday there were 4,715 laboratory-confirmed corona cases in the Free State, 38 more than the day before. So far, a total of 165 Covid-19 patients have died in the Free State. The number of people who have recovered is estimated to be around 4050 and they do not have to be reported.

Shops can also open in Saarland

From Monday all shops in Saarland can reopen regardless of size and range, subject to conditions. The Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) announced on Saturday in Saarbrücken. This would delete the previously applicable rule that only shops with a sales area of ​​up to 800 square meters are allowed to open. It is now crucial, in compliance with the hygiene regulations, that only one customer is allowed per 20 square meters of total space. “That could also be a model for all of Germany,” said Hans.

The Council of Ministers also decided that, starting Monday, museums, zoos, leisure and animal parks as well as outdoor playgrounds may also be opened subject to conditions. Hairdressers, beauticians and educational institutions are also likely to catch up again, said Hans. In addition, a concept for opening should be developed with the catering trade by the end of the month.

Hans emphasized that the maxim that had been decisive from the beginning continued to apply to all steps: “As much opening as possible, as much restriction as necessary. And these restrictions are still necessary to keep the corona pandemic under control in our country. ”The announced easing followed the Bund-Länder switch on Thursday.


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