Night curfews and school closures. These are some of the measures as Germany tightened its restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, reactions to the new measures are fragmented.
Not everyone feels happy when large parts of Germany enter night shifts and tighter restrictions. A picture from the protests a week ago.
New rules related to the virus have gone into effect in Germany since the approval of a controversial change to the law earlier this week. All 16 states, which have so far shown different willingness to impose restrictions, must comply with the new directive – provided the case is deemed serious enough.
For regions with an incidence rate of over 100 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, a night curfew is in effect from now on.
If the number is 165 or higher, it also means that schools in the area need to switch to distance education. On Friday, half of Germany’s regions crossed 165 and the national average was around 164.
In Cologne, where nighttime restrictions have already been imposed for a week, not everyone rejoices in the new daily life. There was a curfew between 9 pm and 5 am the next day.
Anyone who violates the curfew without reasonable cause risks a fine of 250 euros.
New changes to Germany’s infection control law, which give Berlin more powers than before, have also been criticized from a political point of view. The FDP says they intend to abolish it entirely and party leader Christian Lindner has gone so far as to say he is “violating the constitution”.
It remains to be seen exactly how the new law will be implemented, especially when it comes to traveling through different regions with different patterns of infection.
“Whoever does not want to commit a crime must not cross the border into an affected area, whether by car, train or plane during the curfew,” Wolfgang Kubicki (the Free Democratic Party) told Bild newspaper.
Germany has so far reported 3.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 81,000 deaths.