Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung
In Bavaria, strict rules still apply to slow down the spread of the corona virus. For weeks, however, regulations have become a little more relaxed, one step at the time. Here is an overview of the current restrictions and the changes that are expected in Bavaria.
From autumn schools and daycare centers are planned to go back to regular operations
Since July 1st, all children have been allowed to go to kindergarten, after-school care or crèche. However, there are still restrictions in day-care centers. For example, children have to be looked after in fixed small groups; if they show symptoms of illness, they must stay at home. The state government decided on July 21 that these restrictions are due to be removed on September 1st. That means: From September onwards, the daycare centers should be largely operating normally again, of course taking the hygiene rules into account. What these rules will look like exactly is still to be announced.
School operations were resumed gradually at the end of April after a long break. However, it is not yet normal everyday school life yet: The state government recommends weekly alternation between in-class teaching at school and teaching at home. Lessons are held in groups of a maximum of 15 students, desks are moved apart. A mask requirement does not apply during lessons, but does in hallways or bathrooms. The state government has set the goal that “normal operation” should be possible again at schools after the summer vacation.
Cultural institutions are open, but with limitations
Theaters, cinemas, concert halls and other places for cultural events have been allowed to reopen since mid-June. For event in these locations a maximum of 200 visitors indoor and 400 outdoor visitors has been in effect since July 15 – provided that that visitors have assigned seats. If they don’t the the upper limits are 100 or 200 people. All visitors to such an event must wear a face mask when entering and leaving the building, but may take them off when they are seated. Amateur musicians are allowed to play music together with a minimum distance of two meters and a maximum of ten (including conductor). And if the strict requirements are followed, choirs can rehearse.
Museums, galleries, exhibitions and memorials are also open with restrictions. Visitors should find out about opening times in advance, tickets usually have to be bought online beforehand. This also applies to a visit to the zoo, as only a limited number of people are admitted, which is based on the size of the respective facility. Libraries, language schools and adult education centers have also reopened.
All pools are now open, including indoor pools and thermal baths. This has been the case for outdoor pools since June 8th – as well as for fitness studios, indoor sports facilities and dance schools (at least for non-contact dancing and fixed dance partners). The general contact restrictions also apply here. Since July 8th, all leisure facilities in buildings have been allowed to go into operation – for example indoor playgrounds.
What is currently possible in sport?
So-called non-contact individual sports such as tennis, athletics, golf and sailing are allowed, both training and competition – and since July 8th no longer only outdoors, but also indoors. Riding lessons are also possible. The corresponding regulation of the state government also allows indoor sports competitions. Up to 100 people are currently allowed to take part, “with marked places or clearly delimited lounge areas” even 200. Spectators are not allowed.
The following applies to training in team sports: Teams are allowed to train without there being a general maximum. In individual cases, this depends on the respective training facility. Up until July 7, only non-contact forms of training were allowed here (in football, for example, shooting exercises, but no practice games). The state government lifted this restriction on July 8th, if the training takes place in a fixed group. In martial arts, such a training group must not be larger than five people.
Contact restrictions and face mask requirements
There is still a contact restriction in Bavaria. Everyone is obliged to meet as few people as possible that are not in the same household and to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. There are no longer any restrictions or maximum numbers for get-togethers at home; but you should also keep to the minimum distance. Groups of up to ten people can now meet in public spaces, regardless of whether they are related or from the same household.
In the majority of public areas of there has been a face mask requirement since April 27th – in shops, public transport, doctor’s offices, old people’s homes and many more. You don’t have to wear a proper protective mask, you just need to cover your mouth and nose. At the same time, the minimum distance of 1.5 meters must be kept. Everyone from 6 years and older must wear a nose and mouth cover. There is a 150 euro fine if you don’t. The police and staff on buses and trains should check that the mask requirement is observed. Specifically for local transport, this means that the mask requirement applies not only in buses, trains or taxis, but also when waiting at the bus stop or on the platform.
Gradual opening of gastronomy and tourism
The corona curfew no longer applies in restaurants and beer gardens. Normal opening times apply again. However you have to observe various hygiene rules: Relatives and members of two households or groups of up to ten people – can sit together at a table. Otherwise the minimum distance of 1.5 meters applies. Guests have to leave their name and address and are only allowed to take off their face mask at the table, the service staff has to wear a mask. Discos and bars are generally closed. In mid-June, Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger announced that he would find a way by the beginning of July to allow pure pubs (bars or pubs) to reopen. But that has not happened so far.
Since June 22nd, you can celebrate a birthday, a wedding or graduation in a restaurant with maximum 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors. Hotels are now allowed to accommodate tourists again, but no groups. This also applies to camping sites. There is no maximum for the number of guests in hotels, but there are strict hygiene requirements.
Conferences, congresses or similar events “which are professional or official” are allowed again since July 15th. The same requirements apply to them (e.g. a maximum number of participants) as to cultural events. According to the previous announcement by the state government, trade fairs should be possible again in Bavaria from September.
More visits to clinics and nursing homes in Bavaria are allowed again
Due to the significantly lower corona numbers, Bavaria relaxed the visit restrictions in hospitals, old people’s homes and facilities for the disabled at the end of June. In these institutions significantly more visitors are allowed again. Previously there were exceptions only for maternity wards and children’s wards, for palliative wards and hospices. However, minimum distance, hygiene rules and are prescribed and a ban on entry with symptoms of illness is in place.
Shops open again
All shops in Bavaria are allowed to open regardless of their size – including department stores and shopping centers. They all need a safety and hygiene concept for this: for example, entrance controls and a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between individual people in the shop. Mathematically, only one customer is allowed to stay in an area of ten square meters. Weekly markets, but also flea markets can take place again. Hairdressers work in compliance with special protective measures: the face mask requirement also applies here. Hair washing is compulsory, reading magazines and drinking coffee is prohibited. All customers must leave their contact details. Nail and cosmetic studios are also allowed to offer their services again.
Since June 15th, extensive restrictions on gatherings and demonstrations have been lifted. As long as all participants keep the minimum distance from each other and also from third parties (such as passers-by) it is now allowed again. The local authorities have to ensure this by imposing conditions – or by limiting a demonstration to 100 people at a fixed location.
Religious services possible have been allowed since May 4th
Religious gatherings are allowed under certain conditions. According to the state government, this includes a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between visitors, unless they live together in one household. When entering or exiting a church, synagogue or mosque, a mouth and nose cover must be worn. In addition, special hygiene rules are necessary – for example: no touch when giving communion, no kiss on the Torah in the synagogue, in the mosques everyone should bring their own prayer rug and Koran, in churches singing is possible but church doors should be open.
No major indoor or outdoor events until at least the middle of September
Large events and festivals are still generally prohibited in Bavaria. Numerous events and festivals have already been canceled accordingly – for example the Munich Oktoberfest.
This article is based on the German article in Süddeutsche Zeitung on 21 August