The federal and state governments cannot get the problem under control

New building in Berlin

The Court of Auditors has looked into the fight against money laundering outside the financial sector, and has also examined real estate deals, car deals and the art market.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Germany is a hotspot for money launderers. An estimated 100 billion euros are laundered every year in the Federal Republic for legal money. In view of this enormous sum, Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) declared fighting a top priority in the summer of 2019. “Money laundering is a serious problem in our country,” emphasized the minister. In future, Germany should have “the highest international standards in the fight against money laundering”.

Almost two years later there is still no sign of it. In a classified report on the fight against money laundering, which is available to the Handelsblatt, the Federal Audit Office comes to an almost devastating verdict: The federal and state governments cannot get the problem under control at all.

“There is no effective money laundering supervision,” states the Court of Auditors and calls for drastic consequences that should make politicians and citizens sit up and take notice. In addition to a reorganization of the money laundering supervision, the auditors are also calling for the introduction of a cash limit.

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The wording of the federal resolution paper

Resolution proposal from the Chancellery

Due to the high number of corona infections, the lockdown in Germany is expected to be extended until mid-February. 15 points are listed on nine pages.

Probably the most far-reaching new steps: At local and regional level, the measures are to be tightened again if the seven-day incidence has not fallen below 50 by February 15. In addition, the wearing of medical masks in local and long-distance public transport is to become mandatory.

Read the draft here in full:

Video switching conference between the Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states on January 19, 2021

Status: January 18, 2021 9:00 p.m.

The Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states adopt the following resolution:

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RKI reports 18,678 new corona infections and 980 deaths in Germany

IIn Germany, over 18,000 people were infected with the coronavirus within 24 hours. The health authorities reported 18,678 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within 24 hours, as the RKI announced on Saturday morning. The number of cases known since the beginning of the pandemic rose to 2,019,636. 22,368 new infections had been reported the day before. It should be noted that the actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, since many infections are not recognized.

In addition, 980 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours. The previous high of 1,244 new deaths was reached on Thursday. Among the new infections registered within 24 hours, the highest value was reported on December 18, at 33,777 – but this included 3500 late reports.

Seven-day incidence

The number of new infections reported to the health authorities within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) was 139.2 on Saturday morning. Its previous high was reached on December 22nd at 197.6. However, the differences between the federal states are currently enormous: Thuringia has the highest incidences with 268.3 and Saxony with 255.8. Bremen has the lowest value with 80.0. Nationwide, the seven-day incidence has fallen slightly in the past few days, according to RKI data from Friday.

The total number of people who died with or with a documented Sars-CoV-2 infection rose to 45,974. The RKI stated the number of people recovered to be around 1,657,900.

According to the RKI report on Friday, the nationwide seven-day R-value was 0.99 (previous day: 1.02). This means that 100 infected people theoretically infect 99 more people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection rate subsides.


Education and Pandemic: Illusion Classroom Classes

Schools will teach more digitally than they’d like. Even if that doesn’t work out well in many places: The federal and state governments are finally improving.

Despite all the differences in the countries, most schools in the country will remain closed until the end of January Photo: Christophe Gateau / dpa

The new year begins for schools: in chaos. All you need to do is take a look at the rules that apply after the Christmas holidays in Germany. Children have to continue studying at home, but come to school for class work. Depending on where you live, there is emergency care for everyone – or only for parents with certain professions. Some countries postpone the half-yearly reports – others the carnival holidays. Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony will open primary schools next week. Elsewhere, this is considered premature. In Hamburg and Bremen, parents decide whether their children can go to school. And in Saxony and Thuringia, state politicians promise: inside regular classes in February, although the current infection numbers hardly show that.

The ministers of education: inside drive on sight. You weigh up between health protection, equal opportunities, the compatibility of work and family. Therefore – despite all the differences between the countries – most schools in the country will remain closed until the end of January. That’s a good thing. In doing so, the ministers of culture also tacitly admit what they had denied outright until before Christmas: that schools can very well play a role in the infection process. But that also means: closed schools and distance learning could be with us for a long, long time in 2021. Not least because of the particularly contagious virus mutation B.1.1.7, which has already been discovered in several federal states. The speedy return to face-to-face teaching, on which the ministers of education are building on as a matter of course, could prove to be an illusion. All the more annoying are the failures that make distance learning more difficult today.

As a reminder: five years ago, the ministers of education promised that in 2021 every student in the country could access a “digital learning environment” – with their own smartphone, broadband at all schools and appropriately trained teachers. A survey by the teachers’ union VBE among 785 school principals from the end of November shows how far the schools are from this promise: only 6 percent of schools have tablets for all children, and only 15 percent have enough staff for digital work trained. Connection to broadband? Only has every second school. And all that eight months after the painful homeschooling experience in the first lockdown. How can that be?

In any case, it’s not the money. The federal government’s 5 billion euros have been available for the School Digital Pact since May 2019. But even during the pandemic, nobody seemed to be in a particularly hurry. By July 2020, the federal states had called up just 15.7 million euros. Since then, the federal government has added three immediate programs, each worth 500 million euros: initially for loan devices for pupils in need, later one more for IT staff in schools and for work laptops for teachers. And: The federal and state governments have simplified the application process for digital pact funds. Since then there has been a bit of speed. Nevertheless, at the end of 2020 just 18 percent of the funds were approved. In Saarland or Schleswig-Holstein, only around 3 percent. Fast retrofitting in the pandemic looks different.

No virtual lessons

Nothing symbolizes half-heartedness better than the state learning platforms. Actually, Mebis, LernSax or Lernraum Berlin should make more of “home learning” than a pile of printed worksheets. Unfortunately, Mebis & Co lubricate reliably if too many classes want to log in at the same time. In March, the parents still understood the technical breakdowns. Today it looks like the ministries haven’t done their homework. But even if the learning platforms ran optimally: they do not allow virtual lessons. This requires video tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, which the ministries of education are reluctant to respond to – for reasons of data protection and perhaps also for cost reasons.

The truth is that not all teachers want (or consider necessary) to teach live in front of the PC. But maybe you would try it if you had an appropriately equipped service device, didn’t have to worry about data protection issues and were satisfied with the technical support at the school. At least a survey by the education union GEW shows that the vast majority of the teachers surveyed are dissatisfied with the topic of digital teaching. And also with the training offers.

But something is happening. In Lower Saxony, for example, 53,550 teachers have received digital training since the first lockdown, almost 80 percent of the entire teaching staff. The number of laptops that the ministries have now bought and distributed to schools sounds similarly impressive: 23,412 in Schleswig-Holstein, 38,813 in Saxony, 41,610 in Berlin, etc. Many federal states are adding thousands of devices on top of that to help as many students as possible to be able to borrow a device. If school administrators were hired just as quickly and service laptops were distributed for teachers, distance learning in the second half of the school year should be a little better and fairer. And more digital.

Of course, this does not solve all the problems that arise with long distance learning. But at least the countries are now more courageously improving. In line with this, the focus of this year’s conference of ministers of education is on: digital learning. But that doesn’t change anything about the ministers’ primary goal: the fastest possible return to classroom teaching. However, when and how which schools reopen is decided by each federal state. For schools, the year 2021 is likely to continue as chaotic as it began.


Corona handling in Dresden and Erfurt: Saxon lip service

The way Dresden Prime Minister Kretschmer deals with Corona is stunned: Either he is incredibly naive or completely incompetent.

In the criticism: Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer Photo: Sebastian Kahnert / dpa

The corona situation in Saxony is dramatic. For weeks, the medical staff in the state with the highest numbers of infections has been at the limit. Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) has so far reacted mainly by distributing stollen to hospital staff.

On Saturday he said that he had only become aware of the drama of the situation on December 11th: “It was not clear to me that the staff in Aue had already been working at the limit six weeks before my visit,” said Prime Minister Kretschmer. “I would have liked to have been warned earlier.”

Anyone who has followed the developments in Saxony can only shake their head in disbelief. Kretschmer’s alleged explanation is a cheap excuse with which he rejects any responsibility. Anyone who opened a newspaper in the past few months knew: the air is burning in Saxony. There was talk of Bergamo in Germany, of the fact that very many people are dying. At the time when Kretschmer visited the clinic in Aue, the 7-day incidence in the Erzgebirge district was already over 400 cases and the Bundeswehr was on duty to support the medical staff.

Either the Prime Minister of Saxony is incredibly naive or completely unable to steer a federal state through a crisis. His statement that it would have been better to shut down the country much sooner is more lip service than an admission of guilt.

It works differently: just two days earlier, the left-wing Prime Minister of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, admitted in an interview that he had made a mistake with his corona policy. Instead of blaming others, however, he said clearly: “The Chancellor was right and I was wrong.” It is good for prime ministers to admit that they have made mistakes and to take responsibility for them. However, to pretend that you did not see the disaster coming is unbelievable. And an affront to all those who have been calling for help for weeks.


New mutations cause concern: Corona rules come into force

In view of the continued high number of corona infections, stricter rules apply nationwide from today. In politics, however, there are different opinions on how to proceed. An overview.

Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein are the last federal states to implement the rules decided on last Tuesday in a federal-state switch. For example, there are stricter contact restrictions: Your own household may only meet with one other person.

The rule for extreme corona hotspots is also new, according to which people in districts with an incidence of more than 200 infections per 100,000 inhabitants are not allowed to move more than 15 kilometers from their place of residence within seven days without a valid reason. The federal states are going different ways and sometimes leave it to the municipalities or only recommend the measure. Baden-Württemberg, for example, is currently not planning a corresponding rule.


Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow spoke out in drastic words against calls for easing of the corona pandemic. “We just have to face the fact that the virus is only now beginning to really pick up speed,” said the left-wing politician on Sunday evening in the ZDF “heute journal”. “I notice that my hut is on fire in Thuringia. Today is a bad day for me. Because today we have exceeded the 300 incidence in all of Thuringia, and all districts and urban districts have gone over 200. It is none More space for easing and the easing to easing debate. “

The SPD politician Karl Lauterbach considers a tightening of the lockdown to be possible. If necessary, economic life would have to be shut down drastically. “In what we did, we concentrated very much on the private and the schools. If that is not enough, then we actually have to approach the companies,” he told the Tagesspiegel. “It simply won’t work any other way.”

Merz wants the lockdown to end quickly

The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz, on the other hand, spoke in favor of a quick end to the lockdown, especially for small and medium-sized companies. “For many small companies, the point has already been reached where things can not go on. I am particularly concerned about the small and medium-sized companies. They have to get out of lockdown as quickly as possible, back to normal management with a hygiene concept as quickly as possible,” he said “Bild” newspaper (Monday). For many people, isolation in lockdown is difficult to cope with.

Tübingen’s Mayor Boris Palmer even called for an end to the lockdown. “It’s enough now. We have to reopen in a controlled manner at the beginning of February,” said the Green politician to “Bild”. “In my opinion, however, the damage to the economy, to society, is now increasing exponentially. Downtown retail is already in intensive care and will soon fall into a coma. The bankruptcies will roll in. I mean, we won’t hold out.”

The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) told the partner newspapers of the Neue Berliner Redaktionsgesellschaft: “If you relax too early, you run the risk of things going up steeply afterwards. We need patience and caution.” His hope is that the lockdown and the progressive vaccinations will ease the situation. “But if the mutant virus discovered in the UK continues to spread, times will get even more serious.”

On Sunday evening, FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing said on “Bild Live” about the incomplete figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI): “I find it difficult when you say on the one hand that we have no data to discuss openings, but tightening up always go. “

“Together against Corona”: A sign on a promenade indicates that the distance must be maintained. Photo: Frank Molter / dpa.


Many politicians worry about virus mutations. FDP boss Christian Lindner criticized the fact that there were too few laboratory tests for new coronavirus variants. “The low database on the spread of corona mutations in Germany is a great danger,” he told the “Tagesspiegel”. The federal government let the systematic sequencing of corona test samples, i.e. the examination for mutations, drag on for too long. “Comprehensive sequencing must quickly become part of the anti-corona strategy.” The B.1.1.7 mutation, which was first detected in the UK, may be significantly more contagious than previous variants. It has now also been proven in some federal states in Germany.


Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey has called on the federal states to agree on the most uniform rules possible for schools and daycare centers in the corona pandemic. “Parents want a nationwide uniform and reliable procedure for all measures that we are taking now,” said the SPD politician of the “Rheinische Post”. “I also think it makes sense and I am committed to a common framework for how things can continue in the countries after the tough restrictions.”

The German Child Protection Association meanwhile sharply criticized the measures taken by the federal states in matters of schools. “It is a mystery to me why the federal states did not use the summer to develop clear and binding regulations for face-to-face operations, alternating and distance learning and to equip schools accordingly,” said President Heinz Hilgers of the “Rheinische Post”. “This is a failure that threatens to reduce the acceptance of the necessary measures to combat the pandemic.”


Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has made it clear that, in his view, vaccination is the only way out of the corona pandemic. “There is the vaccine as the way out of the crisis. And otherwise there is no way to ensure that we get the infection rate under control. What we can do now is to make sure that the virus does not spread too quickly,” said the SPD politician on Sunday evening in the ZDF program “Berlin direkt”.

Range of motion

FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing considers the decision of the Prime Minister’s Conference to limit the movement radius of citizens to a radius of 15 kilometers in hotspots as unacceptable: “The 15-kilometer rule is an impertinence,” he said on Sunday evening at “Bild Live” . “That may not be a problem for people in Berlin and big cities, in the country it interferes massively with civil liberties.”

Resistance to corona policy

The Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) is following with concern the willingness to use violence among some radical “lateral thinkers” and corona deniers. “We have to see that for the first time from parts of the so-called lateral thinker movement, massive attacks on road and rail traffic have taken place and that in a concerted action across different federal states,” he said on “Bild Live”. “This is a massive escalation compared to what we have talked about so far, namely that lateral thinkers held demos where no masks were worn and no distance was kept.” In his opinion, “a highly dangerous potential is developing” – and there is also “that part of the lateral thinkers who openly cooperate with right-wing extremists”.

The SPD health expert Lauterbach also agreed with this warning: “We are seeing that right-wing groups and lateral thinkers are getting together, and that the scene is becoming radicalized. You have to watch and intervene closely at an early stage. You shouldn’t let it drift under any circumstances.”


The new corona rules: Dangerous imbalance

While private contacts are further restricted, everything remains the same in the workplace. This endangers the acceptance of the measures.

Everything as always: people in Berlin-Mitte on their way to work Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka / dpa

The number of new infections has only been falling slowly so far, and the virus mutation from Great Britain threatens to worsen the situation dramatically. It is completely understandable that the federal and state governments are tightening the corona rules in view of this situation. But the priorities they set at their most recent meeting are pretty questionable.

Because the new restrictions focus almost entirely on private life again. The fact that in the future meetings will only be allowed with one person at a time and that there will apparently no longer be any exceptions for children is a significant tightening that should pose major challenges for families in particular.

The rule that in counties with an incidence of over 200 you must not leave a 15-kilometer radius without good reason is also a severe restriction with dubious effects. As long as meetings with others are forbidden anyway, this primarily prevents trips to the open air in case of doubt.

But they can have an important compensatory function in lockdown – and whether it is really helpful for the infection process if you are only allowed to hike in the nearby park instead of in nature a little further away, one can definitely doubt – especially since it is now clear that infections for the most part do not happen outdoors, but in closed rooms.

Not just rules, but also their control

The new resolutions do not provide for any changes in the world of work. Only shops, restaurants and cultural institutions are largely closed. However, there is still no obligation for employers to enable home office as a rule, although this would be possible and effective for at least half of the employees who mainly work at their desks. And for those areas of the economy in which presence at the workplace is unavoidable, not only requirements for protection against infection are required – but also controls to ensure that these are observed.

The fact that the fight against the epidemic is largely concentrated on the private sector is doubly dangerous: On the one hand, it will probably not be possible to break the chains of infection to the extent necessary as long as nothing changes in the workplace. Above all, however, this imbalance also jeopardizes acceptance of the rules as a whole.

Because if people rightly get the impression that the rules in private life are being tightened more and more because politicians do not dare to approach the world of work, many may no longer take the requirements seriously – including those that are really necessary. The government should therefore base its measures on what will bring the most – and not on where it appears easiest to demonstrate the ability to act.


Measures against corona pandemic: politics based on the principle of hope

The federal and state governments are tightening the corona rules somewhat. But there is little to suggest that the number of infected people is falling significantly due to restrictions on going out in hotspots.

You can get closer to that Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / dpa

First, if you are prone to over-optimism, then you are a happy person. Second, you have all the requirements for the job of a Prime Minister in one of the German federal states. That might not end so happily, however.

Because the sovereigns have once again managed to prevent the excessively harsh tightening of the corona restrictions. Yes, an exit restriction sounds harsh. But it is garnished with many ifs and buts. The country chiefs are apparently assuming that these limited measures will reduce the number of infected people again and normalize the conditions in the clinics.

The can function. Unfortunately, there is little to support this assumption. In the lockdown that has been in effect since mid-December, the number of infected people has only decreased slightly, but that of occupied intensive care beds has not decreased at all. There is little to suggest that this will change significantly in the coming weeks of January with exit restrictions in the worst hit regions. On the contrary, it is to be feared that the more contagious virus variant from Great Britain will also spread further in the Federal Republic and that the number of infected people will not decrease, but increase despite this slightly tightened lockdown.

The compromise that has now been found may meet with less resistance, and it restricts civil liberties less than feared. But in the medium term it will, so the well-founded fear, cause the exact opposite: even stronger and longer restrictions and even less freedom.

If the number of infected people has not fallen as significantly as hoped for at the end of January, there will be no choice but to extend and intensify this extended fight against the corona virus. Then we’ll sit in a never-ending lockdown for the whole of February and maybe March. Then even more companies will no longer have to endure this dry spell and have to give up, even more people will lose their jobs and even more government money will have to be squandered. And then even more people will have died of Covid-19.

But if you tend to be optimistic, then now you will hope that the measures may work after all. You are right, if only because curmudgeon is not a good companion in life.

But shaping pandemic policy according to the principle of hope is too reminiscent of the Cologne motto that it is “always all good every thing”. If only that were true.


Around 16,000 Austrians have been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far – Coronavirus Vienna

Around 16,000 Austrians have so far received a corona vaccination.
© AP

15,905 Austrians have been vaccinated against the corona virus so far. By the end of the week it should be around 30,000 people.

So far, Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered to 15,905 people in Austria for vaccination. The Ministry of Health announced this number on Thursday afternoon at the request of the APA. Around 30,000 people should be vaccinated by the end of the week. In the coming week, at least another 55,000 vaccinations are to take place, the ministry announced.

Vaccination doses: distribution to the federal states

Of the cans from the manufacturer Biontech / Pfizer that were immediately delivered for vaccination, the majority (5,525) went to Vorarlberg. This means that the westernmost state with a share of 4.5 percent of the total population received more than a third of the inoculated doses. So far 5,330 doses have been vaccinated in Vienna, 2,690 in Lower Austria, 905 in Salzburg. Tyrol received 485 doses, Upper Austria 460 and Carinthia 300. Burgenland received 170 doses for vaccination, Styria with over 1.24 million inhabitants 40, this number was already given last Tuesday.

By Thursday, 8.00 a.m., 64,920 vaccine doses for immediate use have been ordered from Bundesbeschnahm GmbH (BBG) Lower Austria requested by far the most (16,030), followed by Styria, where an immediate need for 8,805 cans was registered, Vorarlberg (8,490), Vienna (7,540), Upper Austria (5,835), Carinthia and East Tyrol (5,800), Tyrol (5.310), Salzburg (5.125) and Burgenland (1.985).

>> Current news about the corona crisis


So it will continue with the schools in January

January 08, 2021 – 3:42 pm Clock

This is how it will continue in January in your state

On Tuesday, the federal government decided with the federal states that schools and daycare centers should remain closed as far as possible until the end of January or that they will only offer limited operation. The federal government sees “no other solution”. This is now being implemented in concrete terms by the federal states – and as always, there are differences. RTL has listed for each federal state how it should proceed now.


Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann may want to reopen elementary schools and daycare centers from January 18. According to the agreement between the federal and state governments, there will be no face-to-face classes for students in secondary schools until the end of January.


According to Prime Minister Markus Söder, there will be no easing in schools and daycare centers in January. For the time being, even after the end of the winter holidays, there will only be distance learning plus emergency care for younger children. Exceptions apply to graduating classes. Classroom teaching in schools is to be resumed from February, initially in primary schools. The carnival holidays, which are actually planned from February 15 to 19, will not take place – during that time lessons can be rescheduled that had been canceled due to the pandemic, said Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU).


The schools in the capital will remain largely closed for the time being. “It is the case that from January 11th there will still be no regular classes at Berlin schools,” said Senator for Culture and Mayor Klaus Lederer. However, from January 11, according to the education administration, there will be alternating classes for the graduation-relevant classes. The learning groups should be a maximum of half as large as usual. From January 18, there will be at least three hours of lessons a day in classes 1 to 3 in the school, also in groups that are no more than half the size of the usual. In the next step, this rule will be extended to grades 4 to 6 from January 25th.


Face-to-face classes are still suspended. The distance lessons are initially extended. The final grades in grades 10 at all schools, 12 at grammar schools and 13 at comprehensive schools, upper school centers (OSZ) and schools of the second educational path remain excluded. The special schools with a focus on “intellectual development” remain open, here the parents decide whether to attend school.

From January 18, a decision is to be made as to whether there is scope for opening primary schools to a change from face-to-face and distance teaching in the week before the winter holidays due to a significantly lower infection rate. Emergency care in primary school and after-school care will continue.

The crèches and kindergartens remain open. However, it is appealed to parents to look after their children at home as much as possible and to use the extension of the entitlement period for children’s sickness benefit.

However, day care facilities should be closed if the regional infection rate requires it. Single parents are entitled to emergency care, unless it can be otherwise organized.


In Bremen, the school attendance requirement remains suspended even after the end of the Christmas holidays on Friday. This allows parents to decide for themselves whether they want to send their children to school.


Compulsory attendance at schools is lifted. The students should be taught online if possible, but can continue to be supervised. “Distance learning is the model. But we don’t send children away,” said school senator Ties Rabe (SPD). If necessary, parents can also continue to send their children to day care centers if they cannot look after them at home.


Students in grades 1 to 6 in Hesse do not have to come to schools for lessons until the end of January. The compulsory attendance will be suspended for them, for students from grade 7, with the exception of final grades, distance learning will be offered, said Minister of Education Alexander Lorz (CDU). This week there are still Christmas holidays in Hessen.

This means that face-to-face classes are still possible in schools for younger students from Monday (January 11th) if parents have to go to work and cannot look after them at home. They would then be taught in fixed study groups at school, said Lorz. “I appeal to all parents, however, to keep their children at home whenever possible in order to reduce contact.” Students in graduating grades should continue teaching while keeping the minimum spacing, Lorz said.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which has so far been relatively little affected by the pandemic, daycare centers and primary schools are to remain open. “We will continue as before,” said Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig to the NDR. Parents are expressly appealed to to keep their children at home – but schools remain open for grades 1 to 6. The pupils should only come if care at home is not possible. From grade 7 onwards, further distance lessons are planned. According to the SPD politician, the country wants to examine whether, in regions with an incidence value of below 50, an earlier return to presence models could be an option as early as January 18.

Lower Saxony

Lower Saxony allows all secondary schools in accordance with the federal-state resolutions until the end of the month, but will be less strict with primary schools. According to the State Ministry of Education, after the end of the Christmas break, elementary school students will initially receive one week of distance learning at home from next Monday and will switch to an alternate model from January 18, where face-to-face and digital lessons alternate at half class size.

The daycare centers in Lower Saxony will switch to emergency operation from Monday, only 50 percent of the places will then be available. According to the minister of education, it is not yet clear who exactly is entitled to a place. Basically, however, the following applies: if you need a childcare place, you should also get one. Details are set in the new Corona regulation, said Minister of Education Tonne.

North Rhine-Westphalia

All students in North Rhine-Westphalia will attend distance classes on Monday, January 11th after the Christmas break. Classroom teaching will be suspended until January 31st. This also applies to graduating classes.
During the extended lockdown until the end of January, no classwork should be written. School minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) announced that there are only exceptions for graduating classes. In individual cases, mandatory class work could still be written for the semester.

The daycare centers will only operate to a limited extent from Monday – but daycare centers will generally remain open. Groups are to be separated from one another and the scope of care for each child is to be reduced by 10 hours per week in January, announced Family Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP).


The schools in Rhineland-Palatinate remain largely distance learning in the second half of the month. In the week from January 18 to 22, all children and young people should learn at home, as Education Minister Stefanie Hubig (SPD) announced.

As soon as the infection numbers go down and are more resilient than now, the schools should switch to alternating classes for grades 1 to 6 in the last week of January. The learning content is then taught alternately at home and at school. The attendance requirement for the pupils should continue to be lifted. From January 15th, there will be a special regulation for the final classes with the aim of teaching them in divided groups with distance rules at school.

The day-care centers remain open for boys and girls whose parents cannot provide care. Children with a special need for support should also be able to continue attending daycare.


In Saxony, which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, schools and daycare centers will remain completely closed until at least February 8th. According to the state government, all pupils will initially stay at home until January 31st for distance lessons, exceptions only apply to graduating classes of older age groups. There is emergency care for primary school and daycare children. This is followed by the winter holidays brought forward until February 8th. The second holiday week should then be made up for in the Holy Week before Easter.


When the Christmas holidays are over on Monday, almost all students will only have online offers and tasks for at home for the coming weeks. Only the final classes receive daily face-to-face lessons, as Education Minister Marco Tullner (CDU) said.
Only those who have an employer certificate for a systemically important job or are a single parent are entitled to emergency care for their children up to sixth grade. All older age groups are no longer allowed to go to schools, but receive distance learning. Tullner wants to ensure that there are both online courses and analog learning offers such as weekly plans. This should prevent families who lack technical resources for digital learning from being at a disadvantage, said Tullner.
There will also be emergency operations in the daycare centers in the coming weeks. As with schools, the following applies: only parents with systemically relevant professions could have their children looked after, said Minister of Social Affairs Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD).


There are exceptions to the suspended compulsory attendance in schools: Pupils who take final exams in general schools this school year will return to face-to-face classes from January 11th. “They are required to be present,” said the Saarland Ministry of Education.

This means that grade twelve students at grammar schools and grade 13 students at community schools will have to come to school from next Monday. For pupils at community schools who are aiming for the secondary school leaving certificate in grades nine and ten, face-to-face classes begin on January 18.

There are offers for students in grades one to six who cannot be looked after otherwise. There are currently no considerations to postpone the winter holidays in February.

Schleswig Holstein

The state government wants to extend the lockdown at schools and daycare centers until the end of January. “That means: face-to-face classes will not be able to take place in schools until the end of January,” said Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU). In the north, there will initially only be opportunities for classes in schools for final classes.


Schools and daycare centers in the equally badly affected neighboring state of Thuringia will remain completely closed until the end of January, as decided by the state government in Erfurt. The winter holidays should be brought forward to the last week of January. In the following first week of February there will still be no face-to-face classes. According to the current state of planning, “restricted regular operations” will not start again until mid-February.