There will be no relaxations in Bavaria until the end of the Easter vacations, but as of April 12, regional relaxations for business, culture and sports are possible, according to Minister President Söder. Over Easter, particularly strict Corona rules will apply.
The Bavarian state government is implementing the resolutions of the Corona Summit of the federal and state governments: The lockdown will be extended and also tightened during Easter week. From April 1 to 5, that is, from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, public life will be shut down in order to have a longer period of peace, said Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) after a switching conference of the cabinet in Munich. He said the federal government would today create the legal basis for treating Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday in the same way as Sundays and public holidays.
Stores closed on Maundy Thursday
Thus, on Maundy Thursday, stores will also be closed. On Holy Saturday, according to Söder, "only food retailers will be open, nothing else." Supermarkets would only be allowed to sell food on that day - and no other assortment. Restaurants would still be able to offer takeaway food, he added.
Contact restrictions also on Easter
According to the prime minister, the same contact restrictions will apply on Easter as before: in counties with a seven-day incidence below 100, a maximum of five people from two households will be allowed to meet (plus their children under 14), and in hotspots with a value above 100, members of a household will only be allowed to meet with one other person. Gatherings in public spaces are generally prohibited over Easter, according to the State Chancellery.
Easter services: "No pressure" on churches
With regard to Easter services, Söder assured that the state government would not put pressure on churches. On Sundays and holidays, he said, the possibility of church services with believers is expressly given. The press release on the cabinet meeting, referring to the federal-state decision from the night, says: "The religious communities are called upon not to hold religious meetings in presence, but only virtually."
"The situation is serious"
The prime minister justified the tightened Easter lockdown with the rising number of infections. The situation is serious and becoming much more serious, he said. The third wave, he said, is much more dangerous than the first two, basically it is a "complete new pandemic" - with much higher contagion and mortality.
No relaxations until the end of the Easter holidays
Until the end of the Easter vacations, there will therefore be no further relaxation steps, announced the Prime Minister. The state government is thus focusing on security and wants to "achieve stability".
Minister of economics Hubert Aiwanger showed up disappointed. The hope for openings for catering trade and tourism over Easter had not been fulfilled. With regard to the new Corona resolutions, he said, "In principle, almost nothing changes." At the federal level, he said, it was decided, "We'll leave it as it is." But the rising Corona numbers can't be explained away, either. "The bottom line is that we have to say: we can't announce any major relaxations today."
Söder holds out prospect of relaxations starting April 12
After the vacations, however, from April 12, the relaxation steps decided at the beginning of March should become possible again - depending on the seven-day incidence in the respective district or that of the city. If the incidence is below 50, outdoor restaurants, theaters, concert halls and cinemas will be allowed to open, according to the State Chancellery. Indoor non-contact sports and outdoor contact sports will also be allowed. If the incidence is between 50 and 100, openings will be tied to current rapid or self-tests.
Retailers will be allowed to open in mid-April in all regions with an incidence below 100 with protective and hygienic approaches. With a value between 100 and 200, at least appointment shopping offers (Click & Meet) are to be possible - after prior appointment and presentation of a current negative test.
Further openings to be tested in model projects
According to Söder, new possibilities for linking relaxations with a testing and vaccination concept are to be tested after the Easter vacations as part of model projects in three or four cities with an incidence value above 100. For the duration of a maximum of two weeks, it will then be tested how openings in individual areas in combination with a test management in reality, announced the Prime Minister.
Rules for schools remain largely the same
After the Easter vacations, schools will largely continue as before: the 7-day incidence in the respective district or independent city will determine whether there is distance or alternating instruction. Below 100, all students are in alternating instruction, and below 50 elementary school students are even in face-to-face instruction. Above 100, there is distance learning for all - except for graduating classes.
New after Easter break: The fourth elementary school grades, the Q11 grades at the Gymnasium and the 11th grade at the FOS will then also be considered graduating classes, which will be allowed to attend school even if the incidence is over 100. The state government had already announced this a week ago. According to the state chancellery, only students who have a negative PCR or antigen rapid test that is no more than 48 hours old or who have taken a self-test with a negative result in school under supervision will be allowed to attend classes. Teachers will also be required to test themselves at least twice a week.
Image by Gerd Altmann