The Hesse state government's Corona cabinet has met again and, as infection figures continue to fall, has approved further relaxations to regulations to combat the Corona virus, which will come into force on Monday. The focus was on regulations regarding visits to nursing and care facilities for the elderly, as well as regulations for events and the retail trade. Minister President Volker Bouffier was confident, but remains cautious: "Our approach under the motto 'Hesse remains prudent' is having an effect. Based on the current low infection figures, we have decided on a few more new regulations that will benefit many people." He continued, "Protecting the health of our citizens remains our top priority and we will continue to carefully consider which steps we can take back to normal and which we can't yet."
A new relaxation affects retail stores: the admission restriction for public traffic of one person per 20 m<x>ampersand</x>sup2; of accessible floor space will be lowered to one person per 10 m<x>ampersand</x>sup2;. "We are also proceeding here with a sense of proportion, both to further minimize the incidence of infection and to give the trade a perspective after the difficult past months and allow the revival of business," said Hesse's Minister of Social Affairs and Integration Kai Klose on this decision. At the same time as this relaxation, the pandemic-justified general possibility to open shops on Sundays from 13 -18 o'clock will be lifted.
It should now also be easier for events such as theater performances, concerts and festivals, which previously had to obtain a permit from the local authorities for more than 100 participants. This upper limit rises to 250. As before, the prerequisite is sufficient space per person, the registration of participants and a hygiene concept.
Large-scale events banned - Book Fair not affected
Large-scale events such as folk festivals, street festivals, shooting festivals and funfairs, on the other hand, are to remain banned until the end of October. The Frankfurt Book Fair is not affected. The Hesse state government wants it to take place in October as planned. The 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair will be governed by the agreement reached by the federal government and the states on May 6, 2020, which stipulates that the states will decide from when onwards it will be permissible to hold fairs in compliance with hygiene and distance rules.
Furthermore, the Corona Cabinet decided that the right to visit elderly and nursing homes will be relaxed from June 22, 2020, and the number of visits will be increased from one per week to three. People with disabilities who are cared for in residential facilities will be able to be visited by one person per day from that date. "It is important for the elderly and those in need of care to have regular personal contact with their loved ones, especially during these times. Nevertheless, the protection of the health of our citizens remains our primary goal and we will continue to carefully consider which steps we can take back to everyday life and which not yet," Bouffier explained.
The development of the incidence of infection will continue to be closely monitored. The goal also remains in Hesse to keep the number of new infections as low as possible and yet allow a gradual return to normality.
The new regulations at a glance:
The number of participants for events that do not have to be specially approved and monitored by the authorities will be increased from 100 to 250.
In shops, stores, supermarkets, furniture stores, the square footage of the sales area per customer will be lowered from 20 square meters to 10 square meters. So in the future there may be one customer per 10 sqm of sales area. This means that more people can be admitted to the shops at the same time. The obligation to cover the mouth and nose and to maintain the minimum distance of 1.5 meters remains in place.
The pandemic-based general possibility to open shops on Sundays from 1 - 6 pm is no longer applicable. The general provisions of the Shop Opening Act will apply again.
From 22 June 2020, the following new rule will apply to visits to care homes and nursing homes:
Residents in nursing facilities are allowed three visits per week from a person (whether a relative or other close person). People with disabilities receiving care in residential facilities may receive visits from one person per day. Visitation should also be allowed on weekends.
Visiting bans for people with respiratory infections remain in place, as do the previous spacing and hygiene rules. Visitors should register before visiting the facilities, as they must be registered.
All facilities must submit their individual protection concept to the Care and Nursing Supervision, which is drawn up in accordance with the current recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute and the recommendations for action of the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.
The facility management may, taking into account the incidence of infection, the spatial and personal equipment as well as the availability of sufficient personal protective clothing, pronounce a restriction of visits to one visit of at least one hour per week for each resident. Any such restriction shall be submitted in advance, with reasons, to the appropriate care and nursing supervisor for approval.
Part-time residential day and overnight care facilities for persons with disabilities will also reopen. Visitation bans for persons with respiratory infections will continue to apply, as will the previous distance and hygiene rules. However, if the facility is affiliated with an inpatient care facility, only emergency care will be available.
Senior meeting facilities may reopen. Senior events can resume with up to 100 people, subject to certain spacing and sanitation rules (especially no communal singing).
All regulations are valid until August 16, 2020.