Coronavirus

Corona summit postponed: Merkel wants to restrict freedom of movement

picture alliance / dpa | Bernd von Jutrczenka

There has never been anything like this at the Prime Minister’s meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in the last months of the Corona crisis: The 11 a.m. start of the federal-state consultations on Tuesday on an extension of the lockdown was late Monday evening surprisingly postponed and put back by at least two hours.

Reason: Merkel led with a surprising suggestion for a scandal behind the scenes: According to a resolution proposed by the Chancellery, she wants to have curfews in circles with an incidence value of 100 or more. The federal government wants to significantly restrict the mobility of Germans during the lockdown, which is to be extended until the end of January, and thus drastically reduce the risk of infection.

This is exactly what several physicians and natural scientists had previously requested in an almost two-hour telephone call with the Prime Minister and Merkel on Monday evening. The head of the Robert Koch Institute Lothar Wieler, Charité virologist Christian Drosten, Charité boss Heyo Kroemer and representatives of the Helmholtz Society and the Max Planck Institute took part in the expert discussion.

According to NewsABC.net, almost all scientists recommended restricting people’s range of motion, as is already the case in France or Spain. The French, for example, were only allowed to move one kilometer around their apartment for weeks until the end of November – for a maximum of one hour a day. At the end of November this regulation was extended to three hours a day within a radius of 20 kilometers. Spain proceeded similarly.

In Germany there is currently such a regulation in the federal states only in Saxony. A 15-kilometer radius applies there. Thuringia also wants to introduce such a radius, Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left) recently announced.

From country circles it was said on Monday that Merkel also intends to restrict the range of motion in her proposal. However, specific details such as a mileage or time limit as in France and Spain are open. Above all, however, the planned incidence threshold of 100 is causing displeasure among countries. “This would in fact affect almost all of Germany if the range of motion were restricted,” said an insider. That is nonsense. Despite it, it is unclear whether such a regulation will not come anyway – Merkel has recently been able to prevail again and again with numerous initially controversial proposals.

Another point of contention: schools

There is also a need for advice on the subject of schools and daycare centers. Until recently, the states and the federal government haggled over the formulation of the recommendation for a resolution.

In essence, it has so far come down to the fact that the existing regulations will be updated, it said on Monday. Specifically: Schools and daycare centers will in principle remain closed, but there should be emergency care and opportunities for distance learning. While a federal-state meeting on January 27 is to decide whether to extend the lockdown beyond January 31, the SPD-led states in particular want earlier advice on possible loosening of schools.

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