Sunday, January 16, 2022

2G plus in the gastronomy Söder opposes the summit resolution

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On Friday, the federal and state governments agreed on a 2G-plus rule in gastronomy. Immediately afterwards, Saxony-Anhalt announced that it would not go along with it. Now the next federal state is standing across.

Unlike almost all other federal states, Bavaria does not have stricter corona rules for restaurants. In the Free State, it remains the case that vaccinated and convalescent people are allowed to go to restaurants without an additional test or without a booster vaccination. So the 2G rule still applies and not 2G plus, as a majority of the federal and state governments agreed on last Friday.

The Bavarian Corona Ordinance – there 2G is mandatory for restaurants – will be extended without any particular changes in content, State Chancellery Chief Florian Herrmann (CSU) announced on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in Munich. In any case, “As of today”, one stays with the 2G rule in the catering trade.

Besides Saxony-Anhalt, Bavaria is the only federal state that deviates from the federal-state line. In contrast to other countries, pubs, bars and discos in Bavaria remain completely closed.

From Saxony-Anhalt it was already said on Friday that the state will initially stick to its currently applicable corona measures and will not also rely on tests for recovered and vaccinated people (2G plus) in the catering trade. In Saxony-Anhalt, unlike in other federal states, there is almost only the delta variant of the corona virus, which is why new measures are initially not necessary, said Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) in Magdeburg after the federal-state conference. “It is our job to find differentiated solutions.” Everyone can find their own timing.

In Saxony-Anhalt, guests in the catering industry would have to be vaccinated or recovered, but the 2G regulation would remain, said Haseloff. The currently applicable state ordinance should remain in force until January 18, as planned. The head of government and health minister Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD) said that Saxony-Anhalt is sticking to the fact that boosters at 2G plus have to show a negative test. In other countries, vaccinated and convalescent people are exempt from the obligation to test after a booster vaccination.

In Brandenburg’s Kenya coalition, however, a dispute has broken out over the planned 2G-plus regulation in restaurants. A regulation that would also only allow people who have been vaccinated twice with a current negative corona test access to restaurants would be a threat to the existence of many restaurateurs, warned CDU parliamentary group leader Jan Redmann on Tuesday. “Because the Christmas business has already largely been canceled for the catering trade.” Therefore it still has to be discussed in the coalition.

In contrast, the SPD parliamentary group leader Daniel Keller said that his parliamentary group was in favor of the 2G-plus regulation in gastronomy and an obligation to wear FFP2 masks, for example in local transport. There is state aid for restaurateurs who got into difficulties due to the 2G-plus regulation. The fact that people with a third vaccination should be exempted from the test should create an incentive for the booster vaccination.

Green parliamentary group leader Benjamin Raschke also advocated the planned tightening of the corona rules. FFP2 masks and the 2G-plus regulation in gastronomy are required to contain the Omikron variant. A red-black-green coalition rules in Brandenburg.

Left faction leader Sebastian Walter called on the state government to hold a round table with those affected by the Corona rules. “I hope that the state government will use the time to sit down at the table together with chambers, together with business associations, together with trade unions and also with teachers’ associations (…).” The containment measures should be discussed.

According to previous information, the state government plans to put new and stricter corona restrictions into force by January 20 at the latest; the current regulation expires on January 19th. Walter said that if there weren’t any talks with the affected groups, the new rules would have to come sooner than January 20th.

In addition, the SPD parliamentary group leader Keller noted that the cabinet could possibly also decide on the new corona rules on Friday after the decision in the Federal Council. Alternatively, the resolution should come next Tuesday.

The industry association Dehoga opposes the stricter corona rules in the hospitality industry with fierce criticism. The hotel and restaurant association in North Rhine-Westphalia announced on Tuesday in Neuss that the introduction of 2G plus is a “quasi-lockdown” and a “disaster for the catering industry”. Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) had previously announced that 2G plus will also apply to gastronomy from Thursday.

Dehoga regional president Haakon Herbst thinks this is a disproportionate step. He said his industry is not a pandemic driver. However, it is difficult to say how high the risk of infection is in shops. Different studies come to different conclusions.

Herbst expects serious economic consequences for the restaurateurs, the fear of existence would increase. Even the introduction of the 2G rule – i.e. the exclusion of unvaccinated persons – and the increased insecurity of the guests would “leave deep marks on the balance sheets of the establishments,” said Herbst. “Large parts of the year-end business have collapsed, liquidity is no longer available in many places. Many companies have their backs to the wall.” The vaccination campaign urgently needs to be intensified.

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