Before the Corona summit: firecrackers on New Year’s Eve should remain allowed

New Year's fireworks at the Oberbaum Bridge in Berlin

New Year’s fireworks at the Oberbaum Bridge in Berlin

picture alliance / Paul Zinken / dpa

So now after all: the firecrackers on New Year’s Eve should in principle remain permitted this year. After research by, the SPD and CDU-led federal states agreed on a corresponding decision on Monday evening after a 4.5-hour phone call.

However: In some areas there should still be a ban. Igniting fireworks “in busy places and streets” is not permitted. What exactly is to be understood by this remains open. Details should be determined by the local authorities. In Berlin, for example, Alexanderplatz or Potsdamer Platz should be included. Public fireworks are prohibited. At least the federal states are appealing to their citizens to refrain from banging altogether this year.

This means that one of the biggest sticking points between the CDU and SPD-led federal states is off the table before the planned summit of prime ministers with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on Wednesday. Internally it is said that a ban would have brought problems under European law, which is why it would not have been feasible.

The federal states also agreed to extend the lockdown until shortly before Christmas, tougher contact restrictions, an expansion of the mask requirement and new school rules. The most important of the planned innovations in detail:

Extension lockdown: The current lockdown light will last until December 20th. That means: restaurants, bars and leisure facilities remain closed.

Contact restrictions: From December 1st, stricter contact restrictions than before will apply. Literally it says: “Private get-togethers with friends, relatives and acquaintances are to be limited to your own household and one other household, but in any case to a maximum of 5 people. Own children up to 14 years are exempt from this. “

Christmas: Exceptions to these contact restrictions are planned from December 23rd to January 1st. During this time, meetings with a maximum of ten people are allowed, regardless of the number of households. In addition, it is recommended “wherever possible to go into self-quarantine at home for several days if possible” before and after the holidays.

Mask requirement: The obligation will be expanded and will in future also apply in front of retail stores and in parking lots.

School: In schools, it should be compulsory to wear a mask in class from grade 7 onwards. For elementary school and grades 5 and 6, the federal states make a recommendation.

Extension of November aid: The so-called November aid should be extended. As in November, the companies that are not allowed to open in lockdown until December 20, as well as economic sectors particularly affected by the pandemic, such as the travel industry, the self-employed and the creative industries, are to receive further help. Details are not yet clear.

Opt-out regulations: The countries in which contact tracking is possible again because the so-called incidence value has fallen below a critical threshold can relax the lockdown.

Noiseless coordination of the countries in advance

Despite the different positions of the SPD and CDU-led states on some points, the deliberations of the countries on the planned new Corona winter rules were surprisingly quiet.

A first draft resolution arose after numerous informal discussions with SPD and CDU-led federal states over the weekend in the Berlin Senate Chancellery. The capital is currently coordinating the country proceedings in the Prime Minister’s Conference. Instead of the usual roar when the first content of recommended resolutions becomes public, the SPD and CDU-led countries then showed astonishingly unanimous agreement.

With their joint paper, the federal states want to go into consultations with the Chancellery on Tuesday. For this purpose, a telephone switch for the heads of the state and senate chancelleries is planned again on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Prime Ministers and the Chancellor want to finally decide on the measures. Only then is it finally clear whether the new rules will actually come into force.


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