Restaurants, shops, schools: these are the new corona rules

Markus Schreiber / AP-Pool / dpa

It was one of the most important prime ministerial conferences for years: From 1 p.m. onwards, the state leaders met with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in Berlin and, given the dramatically worsened corona situation in the country, discussed tightening the corona rules.

The federal and state governments agree that there will be a nationwide “lockdown light” from November 2nd. This should apply until the end of November. However, the effectiveness of the resolutions is to be checked again in mid-November.

The resolutions in detail (here as a download):

Gastronomy: Restaurants and bars should close on Monday. This does not include the delivery and collection of take-away meals for consumption at home. There were numerous discussions before the summit, especially about the closure of the catering trade, because restaurants and bars are actually not considered to be pandemic drivers. Nevertheless, it has now been agreed on a closure.

Shops: Retail should remain open. However, only one customer per ten square meters is allowed. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) did not prevail. The federal government had asked for one customer per 25 square meters.

Contact restriction: In future, only ten people from a maximum of two households will be allowed to meet in public spaces.

To travel: Overnight stays for tourist reasons are prohibited nationwide.

Cultural and leisure facilities: Cultural institutions such as theaters, operas, museums, baths, thermal baths, amusement parks, amusement arcades, casinos or concert halls are also to be closed. Leisure facilities should also close. This also includes fitness studios. Prostitution centers and brothels are also closing.

Schools and daycare centers: The care facilities should remain open. The federal and state governments do not set any requirements here.

Major events: Professional sports events are to take place in November without spectators. This also applies to the Bundesliga.

Services: Personal care services such as cosmetic, massage and tattoo studios will be closed, except for medically necessary services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, logotherapy. Hairdressers stay open.

For companies that are now affected by the closure in November, there should be a billion dollar aid program. Up to 75 percent of the income from the same month last year is to be replaced by companies with up to 50 employees. Details, including regulations for larger companies, are still to be worked out.

“National health emergency” is to be proclaimed

According to research by, there was a telephone switch for countries without Merkel before the meeting. There was agreement among the countries that a “national health emergency” should be declared. The background to this is that the measures ordered are probably more difficult to challenge in court in this way. The Federal Council should possibly confirm this decision on November 6th. Thuringia is also calling for the same in a protocol declaration on the resolution of the Prime Minister’s Conference.

Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) pleaded for such an emergency to be declared. As a justification, he said on Wednesday that if you don’t act, you come to the point where you can no longer provide people with health care.

The Bundestag should provide backing

In addition, the Bundestag should also be involved in the decisions. In the context of a motion for a resolution, Parliament is supposed to provide backing for the measures adopted by the Prime Minister’s Conference.

With this motion, the Bundestag expresses its opinion on political issues. It has no formal implications. With this, however, the governments are reacting to the call for parliament to be more involved in the pandemic. As it is said, the Bundestag could pass the motion for a resolution tomorrow after the planned government declaration by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).


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