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Coronavirus crisis: Effects on Munich

Bayerischer Landtag in der Herbstsonne , Foto: muenchen.de/Michael Hofmann
Foto: muenchen.de/Michael Hofmann

Measures against corona: Recent restrictions and Orders

(March 31, 2020) In Bavaria, basic movement restrictions were enforced since Saturday, March 21st - now extended till April 19th. Public life has been shut down almost entirely. Due to the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, Prime Minister, Markus Söder (CSU) had previously declared a state of emergency in the Free State. Bavaria doubled the aid package for the Bavarian economy to 20 billion euros. Other initial restrictions remain unchanged. Here is more information for you.

Corona in Munich: Mayor Dieter Reiter talks about the movement restrictions and further measures in Munich - Video of the live press conference

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Söder: Movement restrictions extended till April 19 - Not tightened for now

On March 30th, Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) declared that movement restrictions are extended from April 3rd to April 19th. These restrictions in Bavaria and Munich will remain so until the end of the Easter holidays. At the same time, he emphasized that there are no plans to tighten the measures yet.

The measures taken so far will remain as they were, for now. The extension applies to catering as well as to all other sectors. He further explained that a debate on movement from the current restrictions is inappropriate for now, given the exponential development of corona infections in Bavaria.

"That would be a wrong signal right now," he emphasized. Getting some air is allowed, and that also applies "if you need to go out of course", said the Prime Minister. Söder appealed to everyone to do so in a “reasonable manner”.

The general decree stipulates that leaving your home is only allowed for valid reasons, including "outdoor sports and exercise".

The Munich police once again advised walkers to observe the minimum distance of 1.5 meters recommended for the Corona crisis. The parks and meadows on the Isar, for example, were well-visited on the second weekend of the movement restrictions. The police urged residents not to meet friends or acquaintances - as it is currently not allowed. E mergency services were on the move in many areas to apprehend those violating the restrictions.

Video: (March 30) Prime Minister Söder on measures until April 19

Angela Merkel Speaks: Federal Government explains measures

On the evening of March 22, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the new guidelines for further restrictions on social contacts. Measures to reduce the number of potential carriers of the coronavirus, is being pushed even more extensively across Germany.

For Bavaria and Munich, practically nothing will change on the decision made on March 20. In the Free State, the regulations already adopted by the state government still apply, a government spokesman for the DPA said on Sunday evening (March 22) in Munich. It is no longer permitted - even in private premises - to meet people outside the family (see point 3).

  1. Citizens are encouraged to reduce contact with other people outside of their own household to the barest minimum.
  2. A distance of at least 1.5 m from other people than those mentioned under point 1., must be maintained anywhere in public. 
  3. Spending time in public is only permitted when you're alone, with another person who does not live in the household or with members of your household. (Point 3 does not apply to Bavaria: only meetings with family members are permitted here)
  4. Going to work, emergency care, shopping, doctor visits, participation in meetings, necessary appointments and exams, helping others or individual outdoor sports and exercise, and other necessary activities are still allowed.
  5. Groups of people celebrating in public places, in apartments and private facilities are unacceptable given the serious situation in our country. Violations of the contact restrictions will be monitored by the regulatory authorities and the police. Sanctions will follow in the event of violations.
  6. Restaurants are closed. This does not apply to the delivery and collection of take-away meals for consumption at home.
  7. Service companies in the field of personal care such as hairdressers, cosmetic studios, massage practices, tattoo studios and similar companies are closed because physical proximity is essential in this area. Medical treatments remain possible.
  8. In all companies and especially those with public traffic, it is important to comply with the hygiene regulations and to implement effective protective measures for employees and visitors.
  9. These measures remain valid for at least the next two weeks (first week in April).

"Go out only when you need to!"

After Prime Minister Markus Söder had already declared a state of emergency in the Free State due to the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 corona virus, further restrictions of movement have now been decided. They will apply from Saturday 21st March, or even today (20th March) from midnight.

Far-reaching restrictions of movement are designed to curb the spread of the virus. However, a lot of things remain allowed.

Leaving your own home is permitted only where there are proper reasons to. These include going to work, necessary shopping, visits to the doctor and pharmacy, providing help for others, visits from partners, and some outdoor sports. But this has to be done alone or with the people you live with. Söder's conclusion: "The motto is: Stay at home."

Leisure: Cinemas, Swimming pools, zoo closed

Bavaria has further extended its restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus. Not only will cinemas, clubs, pubs and the likes be closed, but sports arenas and playgrounds will also be closed from Tuesday, 17 March - 19 April 2020. Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) announced this in Munich on Monday, March 16th .

Swimming pools and saunas will also not open from Tuesday (March 17). Likewise, the Hellabrunn Zoo will be closed to visitors until further notice. Fitness studios, libraries, wellness centers, thermal baths, dance schools, zoos, amusement parks, further education centers, adult education centers, music schools and youth centers are also not left out.

Events: Trade fairs, concerts, theatre - no more events allowed

All events and gatherings are prohibited until April 19th. This includes Starkbierfests, concerts, theater performances and all other types of events throughout Bavaria.

Small celebrations in private premises where all participants have a personal connection (family, job) with each other are excluded.

Exceptional permissions can be granted on application by the responsible district administration authority, as far as this is justifiable (in individual cases) from an infection-protection law perspective. This applies from 17 March - 19 April 2020.

We will keep you informed on the situation of events in Munich - which events are cancelled or postponed.

Event cancellations and postponements: Main overview (in German)

Gastro: Restaurants now closed

Söder also announced that all federal states would close all restaurants from midnight. There will only be "takeaways, drive-throughs and deliveries" for now, he said. "All other federal states will also be implementing this." Even hairdressers, DIY and flower shops have to remain closed, according to Söder.

"We are not locking down Bavaria, we are not locking down Bavaria," said the Prime Minister. But partially shutting down public life in Bavaria temporarily. According to experts, this is the only way to contain the spread of the virus.

"This isn't much of a change for those adhere to advice," said Söder. But for others, there is now an exact set of rules.

 

Shopping: Retail shops closed - food stores to open longer

From Wednesday, March 18th, selected shops that do not provide basic supplies will also be closed. Grocery stores are to remain open.

In order to ensure supply of basic foods and other important products, Bavaria is extending the opening hours for certain stores. Supermarkets, grocery stores, drugstores, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks and some selected shops will be allowed to open until 10 pm on weekdays, and on Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm.

More information on effects on trade (in German)

Going out: No curfews yet - But drastic measures

In the fight against the corona crisis, Söder is taking the most drastic measures till date. On Thursday (March 20), he threatened a "curfew" for the whole of the Free State - if the people of Bavaria did not adhere to the existing restrictions and requirements: "If people do not voluntarily practice social distancing, then a Bavaria- wide curfew will be the only option, "he had said.

A curfew had been enforced in a municipality in the Upper Palatinate since Wednesday (18th March) and for two municipalities in Upper Franconia since Thursday (19th March), due to the rapidly increasing Corona case numbers.

Schools, day-care centers and kindergartens, retail and public facilities for leisure and events have been closed since mid-March.

Residents' hotline for questions about the corona virus

The local administration has set a Telephone service that answers questions about the corona virus, every day from 8am to 6pm. The number is 089 / 233-44740. Mayor Reiter: "It is important to me that we keep the Munich people informed about the current situation, in a completely transparent manner."

 

Mayor Dieter Reiter: "Public life is being reduced"

Munich Mayor, Dieter Reiter held a press conference on Friday, March 20th, and  made a statement on the new movement restrictions.

"Public life in Munich is being reduced to a minimum. All Munich residents are encouraged to reduce physical contact with others to the barest minimum. (...) going to work, to buy food, to the Pharmacy and urgent visits to the doctor are still allowed. And of course, it is still possible to take a short break outdoor, play sports outside or walk your dog. But never in a group, only alone or with those you live with.

Parties on the Isar, in the English Garden or in other parks and green areas are prohibited. Playgrounds or sports facilities are closed and barbecuing in the courtyard or with friends is also prohibited, "the Mayor explained.

The press conference and statement by Mayor Reiter in full

Economy: Companies can now apply for the emergency aid

 

Bavaria's Prime Minister, Markus Söder (CSU) has guaranteed that the Corona emergency aid programs of the Free State and the Federal Government will be closely interlinked. After a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, he named the final Bavarian umbrella of 60 billion euros as the central Bavarian building block.

 

 

Twenty billion euros made up the "participation package", and 40 billion euros was earmarked for guarantees and loans. With tax deferrals, emergency aid and this, the government believes it has developed the right instruments to respond to the crisis. "The motto is: bridge the gap, survive, and then get back on track," said Söder.

Among other things, the aid package is intended to provide the economy with special guarantee frameworks and immediate financial aid. According to Söder, maintaining the liquidity of companies and also of those involved in the cultural / creative industry is currently top priority. In order to give companies more leeway, tax deferrals are also possible.

The Munich City Council on March 18 agreed to immediate measures. The emergency aid of the Free State, for the small and medium-sized companies in Munich, is to be coordinated by the Department for Labor and Economy.

Munich residents who are in urgent need can turn to the social citizens' houses .

Munich companies can apply for emergency aid from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. For the companies in the city of Munich, the Department for Work and Economy will be the issuing body: Economic help for Munich companies in times of Corona

More information at: muenchen.de/arbeitundwirtschaft

Cultural institutions: Museums, Theatres, City library closed

After the municipal and state theaters, and small stages closed their doors from 11th March, state and municipal museums were also closed on Friday 13th March. With these closures lasting till April 19th, the museums are helping curb the spread of corona.

Among the institutions that are not open to the public are state museums such as the Pinakothek museums, the Bavarian State Library in Munich and university libraries. The Munich City Library will also remain closed until April 19th.

 

Education: Closure of schools, kindergartens and daycare centres - Arbitur exam postponed

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, schools, kindergartens and day-care centers will be closed from Monday, March 16th - until after the Easter holidays. This means that all educational institutions in Bavaria are effectively closed until April 19th.

More information on the closure of schools and educational institutions

In addition, the tertiary entrance exams (Abitur) in Bavaria has been postponed from April 30 to May 20, 2020, the Ministry of Culture announced on Wednesday, March 18, in Munich. This affects high school graduates in Munich.

More information about postponing the Abitur exams

The legal exams are also affected by the postponement.

Borders: No access to France, Austria and Switzerland

As a result of the coronavirus spread, Germany is introducing strict rules at its borders with France, Austria and Switzerland from Monday morning, March 16th. Bavaria is also affected. However, German citizens have the right to re-enter their home country.

More information about the border closures

"State of emergency" in Bavaria: What does that mean?

With the proclamation of state of emergency, the state government has resorted to a means used during natural disasters - like floods or massive snowing in Bavaria.

However, the Bavarian Disaster Control Act is not limited to natural hazards, but deliberately leaves very broad scope for action. A disaster is "an occurrence in which the life or health of a large number of people, or the natural foundations of life or significant material assets are endangered or damaged to an unusual extent".

The purpose of the law is to create a uniform command structure for the authorities so that they can respond to a disaster in a targeted and coordinated manner. All operations of the fire brigade, the Technical Relief Agency and aid organizations will then be handled by a central office. Normally, the district offices take over the role of the disaster control authority, but in the case of supra-regional threats, the Ministry of Interior in Munich can get involved.

Corona: Bavaria declares State of Emergency - Effects on Munich

In Bavaria, public life is currently severely restricted to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. For now, these restrictions in movement will last until 19.04.2020. Leisure and event facilities of all kinds remain closed - including museums, theatres, cinemas, clubs, swimming pools, amusement parks, etc. Please ensure you inform yourself about concrete cancellations or closures on the websites of institutions and event organisers. Retail and catering facilities stay closed, except for deliveries and take-away operations. The Residents' Telephone number 089/233-44740 provides information on coronavirus issues daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m..

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