New corona rules in Hesse: moving away from the incidence value

Simagine there is a new coronavirus protection regulation and hardly anyone takes notice of it. The fact that FFP2 masks have been compulsory in Hesse since the beginning of the week when shopping in grocery stores, banks or post offices, in short in all wholesale and retail stores, does not seem to have gotten around yet. Sample on Monday morning in the supermarket: customers dutifully pull their masks over their mouths and noses. The fact that in most cases this no longer corresponds to the latest protection ordinance is new to those addressed.

Marie Lisa Kehler

Deputy head of the regional section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Oliver Bock

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung for the Rheingau-Taunus district and for Wiesbaden.

New rules have been in force in Hesse since this Monday. The FFP2 mask requirement in wholesale and retail for all customers older than 15 years is just one of them. But there are also relaxations. So the 2-G rule was overturned in the entire retail trade. The vaccination status may no longer be queried when entering a shop. Even those who have not been vaccinated or who do not yet have full vaccination protection are allowed to shop in all shops again. In addition, according to the new regulation, a current negative proof is sufficient to visit swimming pools, zoos or museums, for example.

Incidence no longer relevant

In addition, counties and urban districts in which the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants exceeds 350 within seven days are no longer listed as “hotspots”. So far, stricter rules have applied in hotspots, including the obligation to wear a mask in pedestrian zones. The new regulation “in no way represents a change of strategy,” says a spokesman for the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs. It is always about evaluating what has proven to be useful in the fight against the pandemic and what has not. “The hotspot regulation has abolished itself.” The limit value has been exceeded many times over in all Hessian cities and districts for weeks. “That’s why parts of this regulation have now simply been transferred to normal prescription operation” – prostitution establishments are allowed to reopen under certain conditions.

According to the ministry spokesman, the seven-day incidence should only be used as a guide in the future, in order to be able to assess how the infection process is developing within the population. “No concrete measures” would be linked to it. “Hospital occupancy will remain the main criterion, as it has been in the past few months – and especially the Hessian IVENA data.” Among other things, these data provide information on how many intensive care beds in Hesse’s clinics are currently occupied by corona patients and which clinics still have free (ventilation) capacities. If the number of occupied intensive care beds exceeds 400 or the so-called hospitalization rate rises above nine, the state government could impose stricter rules again.

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