Traveling in Corona time: mandatory test for Lufthansa flights – Munich

Detlef Rubik is a little surprised when he is suddenly asked to take a corona test. “I had read on the Internet that tests were carried out. But I thought it only happens sporadically.” That turns out to be a mistake. At least if you want to take Lufthansa to Hamburg at 9.10 a.m. Rubik therefore enters the small medical center across from Gate G 34. It only takes a few minutes. Welcome, identity check, throat swab, that’s it. The result is available after a quarter of an hour and is transmitted to the cell phone. Rubik is allowed to fly. He joins his fellow travelers, who all have good news to show: Corona-free.

This is important. Because for LH 2058 the following has been valid for a week: Without a negative Corona test nobody is allowed on board. For the time being, the regulation only applies to this one daily departure – plus the return flight LH 2059. It is a pilot project, reports the Lufthansa program manager in charge, Christoph Leffers. On the one hand, it should give passengers a “feeling of added value”. The tests are free of charge, and anyone who feels uncomfortable despite the repeatedly praised aircraft air conditioning system then has additional security. The hygiene regulations on board still apply.

On the other hand, the airline wants to gain experience. Lufthansa needs arguments in order to at some point be able to put the annoying quarantine regulations aside when entering many countries. Which of course only works if governments accept such tests as an alternative to self-isolation. That would be important not least for the restricted intercontinental traffic – who wants to be locked in a hotel for two weeks? Leffers is clear that it will take some time before such a topic comes on the agenda. But the airline wants to be prepared when the corona situation allows the first easing.

But do the passengers accept the mandatory test? The Hamburg traveler Rubik has no problem with it, and Dominik Schubert, who flies to the Alster for work, thinks it’s “okay”. Lufthansa had given notice two days in advance, and Schubert was certain that he would be tested negative anyway. This is how it should ideally work, reports Leffers: That everyone knows what to expect early on. So far, it has not worked 100 percent because you haven’t reached everyone. But the attempt has only just started.

Lufthansa test center

The new Lufthansa test center at Terminal 2.

(Photo: Marco Einfeldt)

Of course, there are also passengers who do not agree with the test. Usually, however, they do not appear at the gate, but are transferred to another machine free of charge in advance. So far this has not been a problem – for a test that is limited to a single connection. The next “normal” start in the direction of Hamburg will be in two hours. On the other hand, there are also passengers who consciously book the flight with additional security. And some who don’t care. Mainly Hamburg.

Leffers is convinced that all of this would not be possible across the board. So far, around 150 people have completed a corona test before their flight to Hamburg, reports Hanns-Georg Klein from the Martinsried Medical Care Center, who is responsible for the smears together with his laboratory manager Anna Binder. Three of them were positive. If the antigen test works, the passenger is warned quickly and, of course, cannot fly. This is followed by a PCR test, according to Klein the “gold standard”, which offers even greater security. But it also takes six hours. If the findings are confirmed, the health department must be informed.

Corona test airport

Open your mouth, wait briefly for the result of the corona test and then, as with Detlef Rubik, hopefully get on the plane.

(Photo: Marco Einfeldt)

Incidentally, Klein reports, another antigen test was carried out on the three corona-positives to be on the safe side – one of which was negative. “He had eaten and drunk shortly before,” said Klein. Then something like that can happen. When was the last time you ate something? This is one of the standard questions in the laboratory. Overall, Klein considers the tests to be very reliable. If you don’t want to be checked at the airport, you can bring a test certificate. However, it may not be older than 48 hours. Since it can be a shock to find out a positive test result, Lufthansa has taken out insurance for every passenger. Their trained employees accompany the patient through the next steps.

The first tests in intercontinental traffic will not be due before the first quarter of next year, according to Leffers. With the hoped-for principle of “testing instead of quarantine”, Lufthansa has its most important market, North America, in mind. One thing is clear: if you get a positive result at an airport abroad, your return journey will not work – which is not pleasant in every part of the world. But Corona-positives are not allowed to travel by air either.

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Attempt at Haimhauser School: contain outbreaks – Munich

Enjoyable? Well, there are more pleasant things, says 17-year-old Zara. The student is standing in the gym of the Bavarian International School (BIS), and she has just spat between two partitions into a brown plastic bottle in which half the class’s saliva was already swimming. The school calls this a “saliva spitting class pool”. After all, you can’t see or smell anything yourself when you spit in, says Zara. It all only happens in the head.

A pilot project at the BIS in Haimhausen near Dachau came to an end on Thursday: the school, which in addition to its location there also operates a house in Munich and has a total of around 1200 students, and the Augsburg laboratory operator Synlab spent three weeks trying out how to do it can efficiently test entire classes for the coronavirus. There is not enough capacity to test each student individually, which is why the idea is to bundle the tests: the students spit one after the other into a shared container that contains a virus-inactivating liquid. The mixture is then subjected to a PCR test.

With this one cannot reliably diagnose every infection, says the biochemist Alexander Hauenschild from Synlab, who developed the project. But it is not about finding all infected people, but about the so-called super spreaders: “People who go through a bar and infect 20 others”, although they may not show any symptoms themselves. Many corona infections can be traced back to such highly contagious people, says Hauenschild. If someone is sitting in a class with such a high viral load, the test reliably shows that. And then the class can take an individual test.

With such pool tests, corona outbreaks can be limited at an early stage, says school principal Chrissie Sorenson. At their school, ten classes of different ages took part in the pilot, they came every Monday and Thursday to the gym, which was converted into a small test center, to spit. This takes about a minute per class. And that has already proven itself, says Sorenson: At the end of October, the PCR test hit the saliva pool of an eighth grade. The next day the children came to the individual test – and so they found out that a student who showed no symptoms had a lot of viruses in his throat. Sorenson says he did not infect another child in his class. The school’s hygiene measures have also proven their worth.

The brown plastic containers contain the saliva of one class each.

(Photo: Robert Haas)

In the BIS gym, the students not only practiced spitting into a bottle together. Individual students as well as a complete fifth and a twelfth grade also did additional individual tests each time – independently, without professional help, by rinsing the throat, not by smear. Corresponding test kits are already available in stores, says Hauenschild from Synlab: You gargle with water for ten seconds, spit into a transparent cup and pull the result into a small tube. That then goes to the laboratory.

Such a test is more pleasant than a swab through the nose, which she also had to take once, says Zara, who has gargled six times. The fifth graders can do it just like the older ones. And basically, daycare children could do that too, says Hauenschild. Nobody is afraid of a sip of water, unlike a long swab. Anyone who can brush their teeth can gargle and spit.

Synlab bears the costs for the pilot project at the Bavarian International School; Hauenschild says they have invested around 30,000 euros in material – and they are also happy to cooperate with public schools if interested. On the one hand, the company came to BIS through personal contacts at the International School Augsburg – and BIS was also predestined because it has its own “Health Department”.

This is headed by nurse Julia Lönker; Otherwise, she and her team take care of students or teachers who are injured or need medication. Now they have organized the test center in the gym, laid out walking routes, set up tables and partitions and determined their spitting times based on the class timetables in order to disrupt lessons as little as possible. But none of this is rocket science, says Lönker, and once everything has been set up, the effort is limited.

A converted gym does not necessarily have to be. The aim is actually for the students to spit into the containers directly in their classrooms, says Hauenschild. He hopes that if you can search for superspreaders across the board with the help of the spitting pools, that would be a real contribution to fighting pandemics. But how the idea will continue is still open. Next, they want to sit down with schools and health authorities, says Hauenschild. And then see what can be implemented.

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Corona in Munich: new infections and incidence value – Munich

In Munich, as in the rest of Bavaria, there are some restrictions due to the corona virus. The extent of the restriction depends on the level of the seven-day incidence. The incidence value is calculated based on the number of new infections within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants.

There are currently two different incidence values ​​for the city of Munich: from the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL) – to which the city refers – and from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. Due to delays in reporting the data from the LGL to the RKI, the two values ​​may differ. In the event of a deviation, the respective higher value applies.

The city of Munich reports once a day how many people are currently infected with the virus. The infographic below is constantly updated with the latest case numbers, as well as the current seven-day incidence and the number of reproductions for Munich.

© SZ.de/mmo

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Munich: That was the weekend before the partial lockdown – Munich

Is he in a moral dilemma? Lukas puts the Bacardi-Cola can down on the lawn next to his blanket, looks past his buddy at the people on the banks of the Isar, then at those on the Reichenbach Bridge who want to take the very last rays of sunshine with them on Saturday afternoon. Then the 24-year-old says: “Yes, somehow yes.”

Lukas and thousands of others are out and about in town on Saturday. The Viktualienmarkt is full, as if everything were free, in the bars the sunny spots are completely occupied and on the paths, whether the sidewalks of the city center, the one on the Isar or in the English Garden, it looks as if all of Munich is lined up and member set off for a primary school hiking day. Everything is allowed. But is it also correct?

Lukas picks up the can, puts it down again and says: “We are now two households here.” He is sitting next to his girlfriend, the buddy across from him. They are also in the fresh air. He feels that’s okay. Whereby the feeling of what is okay, what is right and good, is again very different in this city, probably also in the whole country and even on the whole planet. And how do people deal with it? Are you mad that Monday is lockdown again? Do you care because you already know it? Do you follow the rules? A tour. The weekend dilemma started on Thursday.

Invitations were made to various chat groups. For example, at the Halloween celebration for children with punch on Saturday. “Come by from 5:30 pm”, it was said in one case. “Nice idea, but maybe the wrong time?” Was the answer, whereupon a discussion poured into the chat. In a men’s chat, one wrote on Saturday afternoon: “A few beers in the sun at the Viktualienmarkt?” Beers in the sun are wonderful for many, it is well known. Lots of people in a heap is wonderful for the spread of the virus, you know that too. “You can tell how society works: You stick to the rules, but exhaust them,” says one of the men. The question is why so many would defend themselves against the requirements – and what would happen if you let people’s personal responsibility run free.

Downstairs at the Fraunhoferstraße subway station everyone wears a mask on Saturday afternoon. A couple stands at one of the yellow pillars and kisses each other through two masks. Ten meters further the same picture on a bench. And upstairs, two meters in front of the escalator, on which everyone is exemplary, keeping two steps apart, there is a third couple in the open air. They also kiss extensively, then they put on their masks and go down to the platform. Spring and feelings of duty can definitely be combined.

Passers-by enjoy the warm and sunny autumn day while strolling through the colorful autumn courtyard garden

During the day it is on the paths, like in the courtyard garden, like the primary school hiking day.

(Photo: Ralph Peters / Imago)

A hundred meters from the escalator, in the Cordobar, all the sunny spots are occupied, all the shady spots are empty, in Mucki & Floyd a few meters further, shortly after the Bundesliga kick-off, four guests are sitting in a half-finished pub garden. Spontaneous or planned? “It was on the calendar,” says a young man and laughs. He and the three women are work colleagues and we had a long meeting for the day. “We work together anyway and sit outside, that’s okay,” says Anna, 30. It’s even more than okay for Bella. She is the operator of the restaurant.

Bella and her colleagues are in the process of roofing the garden for the next few months. They have plenty of time to do this from Monday. Should as many Munich residents as possible now go out to bars, cafés and pubs? “Absolutely!” Why? “Because they might still want a gastronomic variety in four weeks.”

Bella has a board showing how much debt accumulated during the first lockdown, € 24,409.61 in ten weeks. This time she at least agrees with the process. “Nobody knew how long it would take the first time, there was always another two weeks.” The result: They left cooling systems and devices running, and had to throw away a lot of food and drinks. Now everything is closed from Monday and they have shopped in moderation. Still, she thinks the rules are wrong. “Hardly anyone in the catering industry is infected,” she says and speaks out loud about every objection.

This afternoon there is a lot of discussion in the city, about Trump and football, but above all about the restrictions, and some conversations then go on like that. Opposite in the Sax, which shows football as always, everyone agrees on the corner sofa. Bayern have long been in the lead when Fabian explains that his two friends from Aalen are visiting. “First football, then we’ll go out to eat again. That’s okay.” The 26-year-old nods to his friends when they report that they have always thought about how to approach the weekend. “What we do is okay,” says Fabian. And what’s wrong? “A rave with 150 people in the slaughterhouse like there was recently.” Lukas is sitting in front of a beer and says: “If we had all followed the guidelines of the last few months, we might not need this lockdown now.”

He is a Stuttgart fan, season ticket holder on the standing grandstand, of the loyal kind. He says: “Even if I could have, I wouldn’t have gone to the stadium.” For reasons of hygiene? “Everything that makes being a fan missing is missing: friends, drinking beer and chants.” Whereby the Viktualienmarkt this afternoon could well pass as a light stand.

In the bars around the Viktualienmarkt, many Munich residents toast again.

(Photo: Sebastian Gabriel)

The noise level is considerable and so is the crowd. Some people do their traditional costume again, you would also do that on a normal weekend at the end of October, visit the Afterwiesn traditional costume events. There is no free space at the tables in the outdoor Hochreiter restaurant, the waiters carry around bottles of champagne and sparkling wine, Marina, 25, is sitting at a table and says: “It’s strange.” There are five of them, four women, one man, the women well made up and dressed in such a way that you could walk in anywhere. “Strange, everything full today and lockdown Monday,” says Marina. “Of course, everyone wants to go out again.” Sitting next to her is Ramona, 24, who says: “I don’t think that’s fair.

Everything is regulated here, you are outdoors, and the subway is narrow and full. “And the subways would continue to run, the restaurants would have to close. Ramona has an appointment with the family on Sunday,” we are still going eat sometimes, my father called it lockdown food. “Marina’s family does that too. By the way, two households sit together here, a three-person flat share and a couple.” That’s okay, “says Marina. The sun is setting, Bayern lead 2-0, and on the Reichenbachbrücke people line up at the railing to enjoy the last sunny evening before the restrictions. A couple stands there, tightly embraced, a group of three around a case of beer or a man alone with headphones with the skateboard leaning on his leg and the Munich connoisseur label in hand: an Augustiner bottle, he looks at the sunset and down to the Isar.

There is also Luke with the moral dilemma. When it has long been dark, fewer people are walking on the sidewalks, but they are now better dressed. Halloween children with masks are out and about. In the Zephyr, an adult in a skeleton costume crouches at the bar and drinks. Somehow a picture for this moment, for this time. Alex Schmaltz behind the bar is happy for every hour he can leave open. And many guests are happy to have every drink and meal on preheated plates. Pappenheim Castle is full of students sitting in front of schnitzel, the Ménage bar is well attended, and Klenze 17 anyway.

In the Zephyr bar, a skeleton sits lonely at the bar.

(Photo: Sebastian Gabriel)

There was hardly any excitement to be felt that evening. Not even with Lukas an der Isar. The 23-year-old is a bartender and recently had to tell regular guests every day for weeks that they should put on their mask when they go out onto the terrace. He had to put up with the fact that some people showed him the middle finger. Lukas will be unemployed from Monday, which he has known since Thursday. He says: “It’s good that the rules are uniform across Germany. You just had to do something.”

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Corona pandemic: Munich is dark red – Munich

From this Monday on, stricter corona rules apply in Munich. The reason for this is the further increase in the number of infections over the weekend. The seven-day incidence on Sunday was 100.6, according to the Robert Koch Institute. This means that more than 100 out of 100,000 residents have been newly infected with the coronavirus in the past seven days – in other words: one in 1,000.

The number of reproductions is 1.2 – this means that, statistically, 100 infected people infect 120 new people. With the incidence value exceeding the 100 mark, Munich has reached the “dark red” level on the Free State’s so-called Corona traffic light. This means that the stricter corona rules that the state government has set for this level automatically apply from the following day.

The curfew in gastronomy is brought forward to 9 p.m. From this point on, there will also be a city-wide ban on selling alcohol and drinking publicly in several heavily frequented places. Both regulations start an hour earlier than before and apply until six in the morning. In addition, only 50 spectators or participants will be admitted to events. Only demonstrations, university lectures and church services are excluded.

The theaters are hoping for a special permit from the mayor

All of these new rules will apply at least until the end of the week. Even if Munich fell below 100 on Monday, they would remain in force for another five days. For the time being, the city wants to stick to its exception rule, which exempt primary school students from the mask requirement. The aggravation is likely to hit cultural life particularly hard. The upper limit of 50 participants for events has an impact on theaters and concert organizers, up to 200 spectators were allowed here previously. As part of a pilot project, the State Opera and Philharmonic Hall had permission to even admit 500 spectators.

Several directors of the Bavarian theaters had only insisted on Friday in an open letter to Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) that they should continue to play in front of 200 people regardless of the rising number of infections. They justify this by saying that they have long been working with well-functioning hygiene concepts. Sufficient distance between the seats, modern ventilation systems and airy pathways ensured a safe visit to the theater. In fact, no case is known so far in which someone was infected during a performance.

If only 50 spectators were actually admitted from Monday on, that would be a major setback for the theater in the half-way running again. Especially since, for example, the premiere of “Dantons Tod” will take place next Friday at the Residenztheater and “Die Vögel” will be staged by Frank Castorf at the State Opera on Saturday, both of which have long since been sold out.

In addition, a reduction in the number of spectators means an immense bureaucratic effort, according to the State Opera’s press office. For example, all tickets that have already been sold would have to be booked back and performances would have to be sold again. Otherwise you can hardly decide which 50 people are allowed to come and which are not. Not to mention the planning uncertainty for performances that are about to go on sale in advance.

The theaters’ last hope is now on Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) or the district administration department, says Ingrid Trobitz, deputy director of the Residenztheater. On the sidelines of the “Stand Up for Culture” demonstration on Saturday, Art Minister Bernd Sibler referred to the special permit that theaters can apply to the city of Munich. It is expected that this question will be resolved on Monday, but plan for the worst. “It’s a shitty situation,” says the new Kammerspiele director Barbara Mundel.

She is already considering shortening productions in an emergency and then playing two or three times in a row in order to reach at least a reasonably acceptable number of people with her art. The speakers of the Kammerspiele, the Volkstheater, the State Opera and the Residenztheater agree that they would also play in front of 50 spectators. Because although it would really not be economical – they do not want to lock up again completely.

Meanwhile, there has been a corona outbreak in the intensive care unit at the Großhadern Clinic of the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU). There, at the end of last week, three patients tested positive for the corona virus – they were still negative when they were admitted to the hospital. The cases had been reported to the health department, said spokesman Philipp Kreßirer, all contact persons had been identified and tested. Intensive care staff is also affected, but no other patients.

A genetic analysis of the viruses should clarify how the chains of infection have run

The affected employees are in quarantine, “the infection process is limited according to the current status,” said the clinic. The number of employees in quarantine is in the single-digit range. The affected patients have now been transferred back to the normal ward, where they are isolated and receive further treatment.

How the patients got infected is still unclear. They are researching intensively and carrying out a genetic analysis of the viruses, said Kreßirer – so you can see how the chains of infection have run. “We now have to find out what the cause was.” Say who brought the virus to the intensive care unit. Until the results of the investigations are available, which were started on Friday, at least a week will probably pass.

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Munich: Living in the Pandemic – Munich

The theologian Susanne Breit-Keßler and the social psychologist Dieter Frey on the effect of the pandemic on society: What to do when you encounter mask refusers and whether it is ethically justifiable to call the police at a corona party.

The bishop comes to kiss when she ponders what could stay with Corona. Or, in other words, what long-term consequences of the pandemic she wouldn’t be so sad about. With a certain joy, Susanne Breit-Keßler actually imagines a kind of social upheaval in Munich. Even in serious times, seriousness must not stifle everything. Before that, however, she weighs more fundamental things when she thinks about her city. Solidarity and scapegoats, partying and denunciation, the virus between young and old. It’s about experiences from the Corona year, about big questions and wishes in the second wave.

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Culture demo in Munich: "It highlights the country and makes it shine"

On the Königsplatz, hundreds of cultural workers demonstrate against being ignored by politics. Gerhard Polt answers the question of who is systemically relevant – with a fable.

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Culture demo in Munich – “It highlights the country and lets it shine” – Munich

Bela tigert. Bela Rieger is rarely on stage herself, he is a music manager, artist supervisor, promoter. Today, however, he is supposed to go to the microphone himself and that’s why he runs restlessly back and forth in front of the stairs, which immediately bring him into the spotlight. The occasion is obviously important enough: Several 100 artists and cultural workers – the police initially spoke of 400 participants, the organizers of the officially permitted 1000 – demonstrated on Saturday afternoon on the Königsplatz to draw attention to the catastrophic situation in their industry.

Rieger will say, among other things, that nothing has come of the talks with politicians. Yes, the occasion is important enough.

After all, nothing has been going on in culture since March. Concerts: canceled. Theater: closed. Galleries: to. This is not only regrettable for music listeners, drama friends or picture viewers – the corona pandemic is now threatening the existence of many artists. They do not feel that they have heard from politics. While some branches of industry are supported with amounts in the billions, many freelance artists could not even apply for the solo self-employed aid, because it can only be used to cover operating costs. “But I have no operating costs,” says a saxophonist on the sidelines of the demonstration. “I have my apartment, there are my saxophones, and when I have a gig I take one and go there.”

For the state of Bavaria, art is not an “unimportant addition”

The freelance violist Veronika Stross organized the demo – and produced a long list of speakers. For example, the former Bavarian Minister of Culture, Hans Maier, who is now 89 years old, which is why he is the only one to have a chair. Maier says that if culture is no longer allowed to take place, it will lose its attraction, presence and survivability. For the state of Bavaria, however, art is not an “insignificant addition”: “It highlights the state and makes it shine.”

Gerhard Polt started with a video message and immediately apologized for still saying the virus and not the virus: “But I also say the Weps and not the Wasp.” On the subject of systemic relevance, Polt had thought of the fable of the ant and the cricket: the ant manages the whole summer, the cricket just chirps. “And chirping is of course not very relevant.” Gerhard Polt thinks.

Kuturdemo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE

Culture demo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE Werner Schmidbauer and Martin Kälberer

(Photo: Florian Peljak)

The singer, cabaret artist and Munich city councilor Roland Hefter took over the moderation and now said that many had never considered that “the beer tent musician and the expression dancer are in the same boat”. And so they came Cagey Strings on the stage, which the Oktoberfest and other merrymaking, but now a song with the title “Schade – nicht systemrelevant” have written. “Make it really loud,” they called to the sound engineers. “So that you can hear it all the way to the State Chancellery.”

The audience is still insufficiently described as “mixed colors”. A no longer very young man in a punk outfit had his Ramones-Jacket dressed with the beautiful life motto “Don’t tell me how to live” – ​​which he certainly meant very differently than the two women who thought it was a good idea to tie a coffin on a wagon. But they didn’t want to draw attention to the dying of culture. They wanted to make this known: “Mask requirement is child abuse”. At least that was what it said on the death’s furniture, which was ignored by most of the participants, as was the man who said on his T-shirt that he thought all of this was a big joke with this Corona.

For most participants, however, the situation is too serious to be impressed by hand-made leaflets. Others had come, although they are not feeling that bad personally: Patrick Lindner, for example, along with his husband Peter Schäfer and the dog Obelix. “We stand here for all the others,” said Lindner. The presenter and musician Werner Schmidbauer said that fortunately he had his television jobs, but: of twelve concerts scheduled for October, he was only able to play five, and there were only 48 people in Ravensburg. A few meters further stands the actor Hannes Jaenicke, next to Manfred Stecher, Axel Hacke stopped by, Konstantin Wecker sent a video message – solidarity of the more prominent artists with their less well-off colleagues.

Kuturdemo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE

Kuturdemo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE PROF. JULIAN NIDA-RüMELIN

(Photo: Florian Peljak)

Musicians, cultural managers, the managing director of the Tölzer Knabenchor, representatives of stage technicians and related professions had their say on the stage. Julian Nida-Rümelin’s speech can be summed up in one sentence: “If you look back on the last few months, you can be shocked.”

Finally the politics: Wolfgang Heubisch of the FDP, former Bavarian art minister, appealed to the state government to “give up the attitude of refusal”. And Minister Bernd Sibler, currently responsible for culture, is repeating the proposals made by the Prime Minister on Wednesday: a solo self-employed program, a venue program, and scholarships for young talent. Roland Hefter said at the beginning: “We are stage people. Whoever goes on stage gets applause.” Sibler is only booed a little. But the demonstrators don’t look completely convinced when he’s finished.

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Munich: The first evening with a ban on serving alcohol – Munich

On the board on the facade of the traditional Zum Spöckmeier inn in the Rosental it says: “Happy Hour! Mon-Fri 2 pm-6pm, Halbe Helles 3.90”. The happy hour is already a few hours old, now the unhappy hour has broken all over town. It is just after 10 p.m. this Wednesday, October 14th, and nothing works.

A few minutes ago the alcohol ban came into force, which the city imposed within seven days due to the corona pandemic and the exceeding of the threshold of 50 infected people per 100,000 inhabitants. That doesn’t affect Spöckmeier at all today, it is already dark there shortly after ten, the lights are, the waiters have already sat up. The same picture can be seen over at the Viktualienmarkt in the Pschorr restaurant near the Schrannenhalle. Everything is tight there too.

At a quarter to ten something was still going on at Gärtnerplatz: The last curtain had fallen in the State Theater, the guests quickly streamed outside, the in-house bar Salon Pitzelberger is closed. Some local people are drawn to the Klenzestrasse to the Theaterklause, a small restaurant with typical Munich Boazn charm. Bartender Leo, who doesn’t want to be in the photo, says: “Everyone behaved in an exemplary manner and ordered in time for the last order.”

Fortunately, the performances in the theater are currently all finished before 10 p.m., some of them only lasted 90 minutes – time enough to order one last beer after work before 10 p.m. “You just have to be quick”, say the guests and laugh, “preferably get out before the final applause!” Leo expects the theater room to close earlier during the week in the future: “We normally close at twelve o’clock, but nobody stays that long for a nice water.” Now you are considering opening up earlier on Sundays, to compensate. Maybe at 3 p.m.

Not an option for the Holy Home. The bar on Reichenbachstrasse around the corner is already a classic when it comes to going out around Gärtnerplatz a little later. The crowd is rather young, between 8 and 30 on Sundays at 3 p.m., if you remember correctly, at this age you get up more or go to brunch, but not in a bar. On Wednesday, just before 10 p.m., it is The rush is manageable, a small group is sitting at the bar with a beer. A couple orders two cyclists just in time, then the bartender Sophie looks at the alarm clock that is on the shelf behind her: It’s time, closing time. Then a guest comes in through the door, very excited: “Is there anything else? Or am I too late?” Too late, says Sophie, she’s sorry. “A go!” Says the guest and turns to go, but then he has to laugh: no beer after ten, a bit bizarre again.

In the Holy Home, a couple orders a cyclist in good time.

(Photo: Robert Haas)

“That’s kind of a death sentence for a bar, isn’t it?” Sophie says it very calmly, but she really has reason to be upset. In a shop like the Holy Home, things don’t really start until ten; now it’s dead legs after eleven. “At midnight it looks much better with the tips, too,” says Sophie, “and the sales that we lack now cannot be made up at other times”. Maybe the Holy Home will open earlier on Sundays now, but that won’t do much. Not at all for Sophie, she is paid by the hour. “In any case, you can’t live from an evening like today.”

This is what seasoned landlords say in the old town, around the Frauenkirche, for example. Around half past ten only small groups sit at the tables in most inns, the Leger am Dom restaurant could now also be called Schee empty am Dom: It is already closed. The Augustiner Klosterwirt is still the busiest place. A couple of regulars do meet. “We come here every four weeks,” says one man, “we are seven people. So today we had to split ourselves over two tables with a plexiglass wall in between. What a nonsense!” Sure, Corona is not to be trifled with – but the so to speak “supervised drinking” in restaurants is apparently hardly dangerous: “Or has someone actually been infected in a pub in Munich? You should know that from the lists.”

Gregor Lemke, the monastery landlord himself, asks himself that. He is also the spokesman for the Munich city center inns, and he is now a little bit desperate. “The cancellations are now hailing in, making you dizzy,” he says. It was just another event with 100 people that was canceled. Worst of all, despite the low risk of infection, politicians came up with measures against the catering trade: “The only thing that remains with the guests is the feeling that it is dangerous in the pub, although it can be proven that it is not true.”

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