Debate about loosening the rules picks up speed again

Debate about loosening the rules picks up speed again

Shortly before the federal and state governments meet to discuss how to proceed with the corona crisis, north rhine-westphalia has drawn up a timetable for easing the current restrictions.

In the most densely populated state, schools are to reopen gradually after the easter vacations, and a week later older kindergarten children will also be allowed to return to daycare centers. This is what school minister yvonne gebauer and family minister joachim stamp (both FDP) told the deutsche presse-agentur in dusseldorf.

NRW thus becomes the first federal state to provide a concrete timetable for how the strict requirements for damming the coronavirus could be relaxed. German chancellor angela merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers of the federal states will hold a video conference this wednesday to discuss how to proceed. Bavaria’s head of government, markus soder (CSU), warned on tuesday against a competition to outbid the town.

"In the end, it’s about finding the right balance between health protection, public life and the economy," said federal health minister jens spahn (CDU) in wiesbaden. There will be "cautious first steps" to a new normality. "It’s about learning to live and learn to live with the virus."

It is eagerly awaited whether the minister presidents will be able to agree on a common roadmap on wednesday in order to slowly ease the drastic measures such as school closures and exit restrictions. On tuesday it did not look like it at first.

Thus, baden-wurttemberg wants to open the schools at the earliest 27. April pronounce. This emerges from a paper of the state government for the switching conference, which is available to the deutsche presse-agentur. Accordingly, in the 18. Or 19. In the first week of the calendar the lessons for the classes facing final examinations will begin.

North rhine-westphalia, on the other hand, wants to start school operations as early as next week: school minister gebauer (FDP) said it was her "firm goal" to reopen the schools after the current vacation week, above all to enable examinations to be held and diplomas to be awarded. The idea is to open up gradually. Kitas are to start taking care of children who are about to start school again. In the coming week, the emergency care will still be continued, said stamp. "After that, i propose to readmit the last grade before the first."

Saxony-anhalt’s minister president reiner haseloff (CDU) warned before the conference against individual states going it alone, but did not want to rule out regional adjustments. "The jorney of the federation and the country has been preserved. A common general course should remain recognizable," said the head of government on tuesday. "There may well be regional and country-specific differences depending on the location." Saxony-anhalt has so far been less affected by the novel virus than most other states.

Bavaria’s minister president soder warned against hasty steps. "We need a safe and prudent way out of the corona crisis," the CSU leader wrote on twitter. "Our measures are working, but we must not risk a setback."

Lower saxony’s minister president stephan weil (SPD) dampened expectations: "none of us should have the illusion that we will get our old life back as of next week."It will be possible to talk "at most about initial, cautious steps to ease the current restrictions".

The national academy of sciences leopoldina had pleaded on monday for a "realistic" timetable to return to normality. The scientists recommended reopening schools "as soon as possible" – starting with elementary schools and lower and middle schools. But the leopoldina also named many prerequisites for a return to more normality. In addition, an expert council appointed by NRW minister president armin laschet (CDU) has prepared its report.

The robert koch institute, on the other hand, suggested that schools should first be opened up again to the older age groups. The assumption was that young people were better able to comply with distance regulations, said RKI president lothar wieler. "This is a political decision," he added. There are reasons for and against.

There are currently no indications that the coronavirus epidemic has been contained in germany, wieler stressed. But they have succeeded in slowing them down, mainly by observing the rules of distance and hygiene. "We should continue to maintain this discipline."At the moment, one infected person in germany infects an average of 1.2 other people, says wieler. In order to let the epidemic subside, this so-called reproduction figure had to be below 1.

The possible reopening of daycare centers must take into account the issue of reconciling family and career, explained federal family minister franziska giffey (SPD). Parents are increasingly stretched to their limits when it comes to caring for young children at home in addition to the home office. "Single parents in particular can’t afford this for long without relief from hoods," giffey explained. Children from families living in "very cramped and difficult social conditions" must also be considered.


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