Halloween 2020: superspreading event? It really is that dangerous on October 31st

When skeletons, witches and creepy pirates roam the streets, it’s Halloween again. The hype from the USA has long since reached Germany. More and more children and young people always dress up on the last day of October to ring the doorbell and ask for small treats with slogans such as “Trick or Treat”.

Several industries take advantage of its popularity: specially created Halloween editions flood the shelves of supermarkets every year. And the Germans are busy shopping for the festival.

Last year they spent around 320 million euros on sweets, make-up, decorative items and costumes. Fruit gums, chocolate bars and the like alone brought retail sales an estimated ten million euros.

Parents get inventive

But children pulling from door to door, dozens of little hands reaching into the same bowls: that sounds like a nightmare in pandemic times. Critics expect some kind of superspreader event.

NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU), for example, calls on children and families to refrain from moving this year. His Brandenburg counterpart Ursula Nonnemacher (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen) made a similar statement. But inventive parents don’t want to be banned from partying.

The children would have had to do without too much this year, writes a young mother on Facebook. They’ll put a bowl in front of the door and children can help themselves.

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She wants to pack small bags for this, all with identical fillings. “So everyone can be sure that their sweets have not wandered through 20 hands,” she writes on Facebook and encourages others to share the post.

Another alternative is suggested on a picture in her post: To make Halloween possible at a distance, children could ring the doorbell, place their bags on the doormat, and then take a few steps back.

The bags could be filled with sweets without contact. Those who want to take part can hang a sign on the door so that the children can see who is taking part in the action.

Special creations for the goosebumps festival

The confectionery industry is responding to the demand for goosebumps with specially created Halloween specialties, from scary biscuits to pirate lollipops. “Of course there are also specially designed products for Halloween this year,” says a spokeswoman for the Association of the German Confectionery Industry.

Haribo, for example, traditionally pushes his “horror bag” with bat and pumpkin replica onto the store shelves towards the end of October. Compared to traditional festivals such as Christmas or Easter, however, these are niche products, according to the association.

Measured against the total production value of a good 12.5 billion euros in the past year, sales of Halloween products, which are in the lower double-digit million range, are actually more of a marginal phenomenon.

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The epidemiologist Timo Ulrichs, who teaches global health among other things at the Akkon University in Berlin, considers the risk of Halloween parades to be limited: “The children usually move through the streets in very small groups or with their siblings, and they are there too still in the fresh air, ”he explains.

At the same time, the contacts at the front door are only very brief. “The coronavirus mainly spreads via aerosols – the children do not come very close to the residents if only a short handover takes place at the front door.”

Smear infections were also a negligible risk, if any. “Even if all children put their hands in the same bowl one after the other, it is very unlikely that the coronavirus will spread as a result.”

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RKI President in conversation

Other pathogens, such as cold viruses, on the other hand, would certainly spread via this route. But this risk, too, can easily be eliminated if children carry disinfectants with them or house residents make them available before the children can help themselves.

Nevertheless, the uncertainty remains high. Retailers and manufacturers do not assume that the considerable sales figures from previous years can be achieved again.

In 2020, the German Retail Association (HDE) refrained from a new survey on the business expectations of merchants for Halloween. “Everything is under the big question mark of the pandemic,” said an HDE spokesman.

The toy industry expects a minus

The toy industry nevertheless uses the opportunity to create buying opportunities. Trick-or-treat buckets, witch hats or magic wands are going well this year too.

The Danish toy giant Lego also ties in with the festival. Based on the Harry Potter world, parents, godmothers and grandpas can buy kits including mini muffins, stink bombs and love potions for around 400 euros. “The theme of Halloween is present, even if the celebrations are limited,” says Lego.

All in all, the German Association of the Toy Industry is expecting a decrease compared to the previous year. According to expert estimates, sales around October 31 are usually between 50 and 100 million euros.

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“Enormous suffering”

In order to make the Halloween festival possible despite the pandemic, parents come up with a lot. For example, a mother posted a photo of a bag on social media that she had attached to a stick to enable contactless handover including clearance.

Similar constructions can even be purchased ready-made on the Internet. The Berlin epidemiologist Ulrichs thinks this is a good idea, especially in residential areas where mainly elderly people live.

To ban the festival this year is, in his opinion, an exaggeration. “There are so many occasions when children get close that Halloween is harmless. You should give them the party, ”he says.

Disaster year for costume dealers

At the same time, Ulrichs warns against playing down any event that takes place in the fresh air.

Sankt Martin, for example, is basically very similar to Halloween, “however, the groups during the parades are usually much larger, the children are closer, and the contacts between adults often last longer because they stand together by the wayside” – consequently, it is much higher Expected risk.

Halloween is by no means just a children’s party – young people and adults had long since integrated the lust for horror into their celebration culture. This is also different this fall.

These celebrations actually have to be canceled this year – because it is difficult to keep your distance within rooms, emphasizes epidemiologist Ulrichs. In addition, current contact restrictions simply do not allow celebrations to be held due to the local incidence.

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Sellers of costumes and decorative items are hard hit by not having parties and street festivals. “After Carnival, Halloween is usually the second largest sales driver at all of our 31 locations,” says Björn Lindert, Managing Director of the costume retail market leader Deiters. This year sales are 50 to 80 percent below normal. “2020 is a year of disaster for us,” says Lindert.

In the past few days, however, the company has felt a touch of revival, especially with decorative items. Apparently one or the other celebration is planned in a small group at home, Lindert concludes.

Meanwhile, Deiters tries a fusion of infection protection and fun. The company designed its own creepy Halloween masks, some with LED lighting.

For the even more important carnival business, the chain is preparing for ongoing restrictions as well as for the epidemic to run out, the manager assured: “Our warehouses are full, all branches are ready to play.”


Courageous campaigner for democracy

Thomas Oppermann was a reliable companion to his friends and a staunch politician for the cause of democracy. As chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Oppermann has long been one of the republic’s outstanding parliamentarians. In the plenary he gave pointed speeches, in committees and bodies Oppermann was an accomplished member, always ready to fight the cause, but also willing to compromise and cordial in dealing. Since he was first elected to the Bundestag in 2005, he had seen it as an almost daily task to oppose the downfall of the SPD, campaigning and fighting.

Mostly fully engaged in everyday life, Oppermann also had a pronounced, slightly melancholy sense of the former greats and the former greatness of his party. In the present, he was ultimately driven by the constant confidence that he could improve living conditions, in his constituency, in the country, in Europe.

When the law graduate came to the Bundestag in 2005, he was initially a loser among losers: In Lower Saxony, the Gabriel government, to which Oppermann belonged as minister of education, had been voted out of office and the SPD had lost its chancellorship in the federal government. Oppermann quickly made a name for himself in the Bundestag. In particular, in a committee of inquiry into secret service activities in Iraq and elsewhere and the involvement of the SPD in the case of Murat Kurnaz, who was abducted by American services to Guantanamo, Oppermann appeared as a committed defender of the previous government policy. His further ascent began quickly.

As parliamentary managing director, Oppermann quickly belonged to the organizers of the first grand coalition under Angela Merkel, and then from 2009 of the opposition SPD parliamentary group. Mostly he also took over the attack department in public. When the rather inconspicuous Frank-Walter Steinmeier then moved back to the Foreign Office, Oppermann became parliamentary group leader in 2013 – an office that he held until the last federal election.

Although he is one of the most energetic clock-makers as the leader of the Social Democrats, the affair surrounding former MP Sebastian Edathy remained a political burden for him, in which Oppermann had never played a fully enlightened role. Unlike the CSU politician Hans-Peter Friedrich, Oppermann did not have to resign because of the matter.

Oppermann, who was born in Münsterland, had a career that was not as straightforward as it might seem in retrospect. He stayed seated at school, his first degree – German and English – proved to be unsatisfactory. Oppermann, a person of uncompromising curiosity, did his alternative military service with a union in America. After his return he studied all over again, this time law in Göttingen. Excellent grades qualified him for the judge’s office, which he held at the Hanover Administrative Court until 1990. At the age of 36 he was drawn to politics, first in Lower Saxony, then in Berlin.

Also because Oppermann was one of the well-known, widely recognized and respected SPD politicians there for years, it seemed promising that he would take over a ministerial office in the foreseeable future. In the previous election campaign, Oppermann made no secret of the fact that he would have liked to become Minister of the Interior, a task for which the experienced lawyer and expert in domestic and legal policy was ideally qualified. But it turned out differently: in 2017 certain party politics, not suitability for this position, the formation of a government in the new grand coalition. Oppermann was one of the many to whom an increasingly wandering SPD believed it could say goodbye without a sound.

In the short era of Andrea Nahles and Olaf Scholz, Oppermann, like Sigmar Gabriel and Martin Schulz, was either pushed aside or deported. In recognition of his services, Oppermann was given the job of serving as Vice President of the Bundestag. He was certainly not in the wrong place in a parliament that is increasingly having to defend itself against democratic impositions on the right and left, but it was a cautious end to his ambitions.

Thomas Oppermann (1954-2020)

Photo gallery

Thomas Oppermann

An energetic clock of his party

Oppermann was directly elected member of parliament from Göttingen, where the voters have elected him four times in a row as their representative in parliament. In the summer of that year he had declared that now, at the age of 66, there would soon be enough of active politics. The father of four wished for more time for his own thoughts and plans. But on Sunday evening Thomas Oppermann died unexpectedly in Göttingen after a collapse.


Hanover versus Braunschweig: the eternal duel – society


Thomas Hahn

The minutes of the last session of the Braunschweig State Parliament on November 21, 1946 noted a “solemn introduction through the musical rendering of a Haydnian composition”. It doesn’t say much more about the mood that prevailed over the plenary session in the auditorium of the Kant University that autumn afternoon. But from the texts of the speakers one can conclude that it was not particularly good, namely shaped by the unease of the regional politicians around Prime Minister Alfred Kubel (SPD), who accepted the new post-war order of the German north with a heavy heart. After 800 years, the regional power, most recently as the Free State of Braunschweig, gave up its independence, and after the 55th ordinance of the British military government with Oldenburg, the little Schaumburg-Lippe and – to the particular displeasure of Braunschweig – also with the power-conscious Hanover from the dissolved state Prussia to merge in the new German state of Lower Saxony.


Shipping: FRS takes over Elbe ferry in Glückstadt

Hamburg shipping

FRS takes over Elbe ferry in Glückstadt

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Olaf Preuss business reporter

FRS manager Birte Dettmers and FRS managing director Götz Becker in front of the company headquarters in Flensburg FRS manager Birte Dettmers and FRS managing director Götz Becker in front of the company headquarters in Flensburg

FRS manager Birte Dettmers and FRS managing director Götz Becker in front of the company headquarters in Flensburg

Source: Bertold Walker

Flensburg shipping company now operates one of the most important transport connections in northern Germany – and hopes for clarity on the project of a new Elbe tunnel.

Dhe Flensburg shipping company FRS has taken over the Elbe ferry, which commutes between Glückstadt in Schleswig-Holstein and Wischhafen in Lower Saxony. It is an important transport link in northern Germany because there is no other way for cars and trucks to cross the Lower Elbe in regular traffic between the Elbe Tunnel in Hamburg and the German Bight. Every year the Elbe ferry transports around 600,000 vehicles with four ships and around 50 employees.

The previous operator of the Elbe ferry is, like FRS, a family-run company. “We are very pleased to have found a family-run group of companies in FRS that will continue the Elbe ferry with the same values ​​in the interests of the shareholders,” said the previous managing director and co-owner Hildegard Both-Walberg.

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FRS – emerged from the companies Förde Reederei and Seetouristik – is hardly known outside of Flensburg, unlike its local subsidiary. With more than 2000 employees and around 60 ships, FRS operates ferry lines and tourist ships in twelve countries, from Canada to Oman. According to its own information, FRS currently transports a total of around 7.6 million passengers and 2.1 million vehicles annually.

The best known in Germany is the tourist catamaran “Halunder Jet” from FRS Helgoline, which sails between Hamburg and the North Sea island of Helgoland and which this year was reinforced by the catamaran “San Gwann”. The ferry line between the Danish island of Rømø and List on Sylt is also part of FRS. In Hamburg, FRS operated the tourist ferry “Kleine Freiheit” between the port and Blankenese for a while until this spring.

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The Elbe ferry between Wischhafen and Glückstadt is “a solid company that is in good shape,” said FRS manager Birte Dettmers WELT. She now also runs the ferry connection on the Elbe as managing director, together with Tim Kunstmann. Both already operate the Rømø-Sylt-Ferry and FRS Helgoline together.

An important factor for FRS and the future of the ferry connection is whether and when the long-planned Elbe tunnel between Glückstadt and Wischhafen will be realized. “We believe in the ferry connection across the Elbe and want to invest there,” said Dettmers. “Whether the Elbe Tunnel will actually be completed in nine years, as the state government currently expects, we will leave it as it is. Of course we would like planning security on this topic. “

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A tunnel through the Elbe west of Hamburg has been planned for decades – to better connect the coastal states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony with the A20 motorway and to relieve the greater Hamburg area, especially with heavy goods traffic. Environmental groups like Nabu and BUND want to prevent the project by political and legal means. The Greens in Schleswig-Holstein have long politically opposed an extension of the A20 to the Elbe and the tunnel project.

The crossing of the Elbe between Hamburg and the North Sea with vehicles remains a difficult undertaking – and only possible between Glückstadt and Wischhafen. The establishment of a ferry connection between Cuxhaven and Brunsbüttel had failed several times in recent years, although there was now a ship operation there, especially for trucks and tourist buses. But that turned out to be economically unsustainable.


Pistorius wants to stifle anti-democratic pockets of fire (neue-deutschland.de)

Boris Pistorius (SPD), Interior Minister Lower Saxony, telephoned in front of a police vehicle.

Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa

The Interior Minister of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, was very angry about a poster from the Greens. A person can be seen on it, looking into the distance with binoculars. Underneath is the opposition party’s demand: “Look to the right – also in the Lower Saxony police”. In the most recent state parliament session, the SPD politician held the poster against the plenum in Hanover and castigated it: “That gives the impression that we have a huge problem with right-wing extremism.”

It now seems to be questionable whether Pistorius was absolutely certain of this statement. Because now he has expressed the intention to commission a study on extremism among police officers. At least in Lower Saxony, this should happen very quickly, the minister announced to the “Rheinische Post” and stated: “Obviously there are always nests of embers of anti-democratic behavior that we have to quickly identify and smother.”

The Social Democrat does not only want this for Lower Saxony, but for all of Germany. First of all, the topic is to be discussed at the conference of the SPD-led state interior ministries at the end of October. Berlin, ruled by Red-Red-Green, also wants to participate in the planned transnational study. This was confirmed by a spokesman for the interior administration.

As a next step, the Social Democrats want to bring the study up at the Federal Interior Ministers’ Conference, which will meet in Weimar in December. It can be doubted that they will be well received by their federal colleague Horst Seehofer. The CSU man thinks that the police can be placed under general suspicion if a study is aimed solely at the security authorities. The Federal Minister of the Interior, on the other hand, can well imagine an investigation into everyday police operations.

The topic is also controversial in the federal government. “There have been disturbing cases of racist and anti-democratic attitudes in the police over and over again recently,” said Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) recently. “That’s why we urgently need more information about where we stand. We need to know whether and to what extent the existing organizational structures in the police are sufficient to prevent such cases in the future. “

Pistorius also considers it particularly important that every possible case of racism and extremism in the police is investigated “consistently and precisely” and that the necessary conclusions are drawn from this.

The Greens had demanded in the state parliament that “a situation report on right-wing extremism” should be prepared in the Lower Saxony police as quickly as possible. The state government made up of the SPD and CDU should commission a study on this. No decision has yet been made on this requirement. First, the matter is discussed in the interior committee of the state parliament, the members of the parliament decided unanimously at the time. In view of the latest statements by Pistorius on the subject of the study, it can be assumed that the parliament of the second largest federal state will approve the study.

Weeks ago, the events of right-wing extremist chats within the police, among others in North Rhine-Westphalia, triggered a discussion about the question of whether a study on racism in the police was called for. When asked whether the police union (GdP) in Lower Saxony was in favor of or against such a scientific investigation, Dietmar Schilff, state chairman of the GdP, told the Hanover television broadcaster H1: Until a study on extremism, racism or racial profiling has been completed, a lot will happen Time to land.

The GdP think it makes sense to “act faster”, to deal with the situation of people in the police, and to review legal provisions that lead to “that people may feel that they have been treated with racial profiling”.

In this respect, Pistorius agrees with the GdP: The study he is now calling for should also provide insights into everyday police work. He has already suggested to his SPD counterparts that scientists should accompany the police on the mission. Within a year, the interior ministries should collect the findings from all federal states and be able to make statements on “whether and to what extent racism, extremist statements or so-called racial profiling” are encouraged in the everyday life of the police.


Road trip in Germany: “The B3 is the German Route 66”

Ein chewing gum machine after another. They have been hanging – red, rusty, scratched – on house walls and garden fences for decades. Some of them are out of order, others are functional. With coin slot, viewing window, rotary handle and this somewhat unsanitary fold-out compartment, from which you can frangle chewing gum balls and other odds and ends. Strategically placed near bus stops, school routes and restaurants along the federal highway 3.

The “B3” stretches a good 800 kilometers from north to south-west, through three federal states, from Buxtehude in Lower Saxony via Frankfurt in Hesse to Weil am Rhein in Baden-Württemberg. First straight: through the Lüneburg Heath and the North German Plain, often lined with avenue trees.

On through the curvy Calenberger Land and Weser Uplands, over mountains and valleys through Northern Hesse to Frankfurt. From there it meanders along the vineyards and castles via Heidelberg and Freiburg into the Markgräflerland.

Follow the old route of the B3

And she is very old. The B3 was already used by the Celts as a trade route and by the Romans as an army route for the legions. Roman paving stones were accidentally excavated in the 1950s during canal works along the Odenwald and are now on display in Heppenheim.

In Heppenheim you can see cobblestones from Roman times

Source: Wolfgang Groeger-Meier

Here and there are weathered milestones along its course (near Marienburg Castle in Lower Saxony) and watchtowers, such as the watch tower from 1589 in Weingarten near Bruchsal. At that time, a toll was levied for their use of the road, now replaced by the truck toll.

The B3 has long been bypassed in many places on bypass roads or ends in expressways and motorways such as at Marburg or Soltau. It is often called Bundesstrasse 3n or 3a.

It is more attractive to follow your old route. The “3” is only pasted over on old traffic signs, street names such as “Frankfurter Straße” are reminiscent of the former long-distance route.

A highway of the economic miracle

If you look closely, Bundesstraße 3 is today, not only geographically, the West German counterpart to the East German B96, the federal highway that runs from Zittau in Saxony via Berlin to Rügen, the dream route in the East for GDR nostalgics.

Trees line the B3 near the small town of Pattensen in Lower Saxony

Trees line the B3 near the small town of Pattensen in Lower Saxony

Source: Wolfgang Groeger-Meier

The B3, however, was a trunk road of the economic miracle – and in many places it looks like it has been preserved on this stand. It is worthwhile to leave the autobahn for a lovely retro tour “over the villages” along the B3.

For example in the Lüneburg Heath near Schneverdingen: Here you can find Heidschnuckenbraten in the restaurants and organic heather honey on the roadside, cafés that still offer “only jugs outside” but put huge pieces of cake on the plates, gooseberry sauce with cream from the Grandmother freshly baked.

Bundesstrasse 3: There are still cafes here that offer “only jugs outside”

There are still cafes here that offer “only jugs outside”

Source: Wolfgang Groeger-Meier

Country inns with 1960s interiors, wing chairs, kidney-shaped tables, crocheted tablecloths and those thick wooden sling rods on the rigid curtains so that the curtains sit neatly vertically.

Motorcyclists love the notorious Schedener hairpin bends from Göttingen to Hannoversch Münden. Cyclists appreciate the new romantic cycle path next to the B3, which meanders along the Fulda valley under avenue trees to Kassel.

“This is where Germany begins to become Italy”

The B3 also offers a real piece of contemporary musical history. In Bad Nauheim, Hessen, the owners of the “Hotel Grunewald” honor the originally preserved room 10 from the 1950s, because the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” lived there for a few months at that time. At the end of 1958 Elvis Presley commuted back and forth on the B3 in his BMW 507 between the hotel and the barracks in Friedberg.

Massive furniture, wall mirrors, picture frames with golden ornaments, scratchy, pink-patterned armchair covers, a bathroom with flower tiles and – legendary – the original black toilet seat on the toilet. 1950s chic.

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At the Odenwald, further south, the B3 becomes a tourist holiday route. For a good 68 kilometers between Darmstadt and Wiesloch, it is called the Bergstrasse holiday route, runs at the foot of the Odenwald and mostly just above the Rhine plain.

Almond trees bloom on its slopes and excellent wine grows thanks to the mild and sunny climate and the fertile loess soil. Even figs thrive here. Emperor Joseph II (1765–1790) is said to have exclaimed during a rest on the Bergstrasse: “This is where Germany begins to become Italy”.

A photographer shows us the charm of the federal highway

In culinary terms, the B3 is also coming to an end. A break at the wooden carts (“Zweschtgen-Schäs”) full of Bühler plums, which the traders on the roadside in the Markgräflerland behind Rastatt sell. In long curves past orchards, on hills with a view of the Rhine plain, through Freiburg to Weil am Rhein, where it ends at the border crossing to Switzerland and Basel.

Her biggest fan is the Munich-based photographer Wolfgang Groeger-Meier, who like me grew up near the B3 in Lower Saxony. Since 2017 he has been driving his mint green BMW classic, built in 1975, on this “dream road” for months.

Photographer Wolfgang Groeger-Meier is a fan of Bundesstrasse 3

Photographer Wolfgang Groeger-Meier is a fan of Bundesstrasse 3

Source: Wolfgang Groeger-Meier

He has even dedicated a blog (bundesstrasse3.de) and a book to her: “Lockruf des Südens” (Corso Verlag). Until September 2019, the BMW Museum in Munich is showing photos of the trip in the special exhibition “Traumstrasse B3” – and of course the mint-green old-timer BMW 2002 from 1975 – without sponsorship.

Wolfgang Groeger-Meier says: “For me it is the German Route 66.” He drove it with friends, kilometer after kilometer, “on a dream road towards the sun. Because the longing begins right after Buxtehude. The route is varied because the people who live there make it so. “

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He discovered hand-painted advertisements on house facades such as the “Hotel zur Post” in Bad Schönborn, advertisements for a “Berg Bräu Brauerei Leinem” that had long since closed. But the facade advertising survived.

He visited the Stettfelder mill in Ubstadt-Weiher in Baden. Kornelia Dewald runs the mill together with her siblings in the third generation and tells about the family and the location on the B3.

A policeman brews beer in a garage next to the Stettfelder Mühle. Matthias Prestel started doing it in 1995 and called it PB Prestelbräu; The hobby turned into a real brewery with pilsner and dark beer, which he runs today together with Dieter Harlacher.

By the way: Wolfgang Groeger-Meier has never seen so many old chewing gum machines as on the B3. It must be because of their retro flair.

Course of the federal highway 3

Source: WORLD infographic

This article was first published in July 2019.

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Corona: These are the corona rules in the federal states – politics

In the fight against the corona pandemic, the federal states can largely decide on their own responsibility about restrictions or the relaxation of requirements.

Here is the current status in the countries in selected areas of life. Important: The regulations are subject to conditions such as distance and hygiene regulations. In addition, the nationwide mask requirement in trade and local transport continues to apply.

Fine for disregarding the mask requirement

Baden-Württemberg: For those who refuse to wear a mask, for example in shops, the fine of at least 50 euros agreed between the federal states and the Chancellor applies. From Wednesday on, restaurant visitors also have to wear a mask when they are not at the table. The mask requirement then also applies in amusement parks and amusement facilities in closed rooms and in waiting areas. Violations of the mask requirement on buses and trains are at least 100 euros. Anyone who does not wear a mask on the school premises – outside of the classrooms – can face a fine of at least 25 euros.

Bayern: A mask is mandatory for all passengers aged six and over in public transport. Exceptions are only possible for health reasons and with a medical certificate. The standard fine rate is 250 euros in a one-off case and up to 500 euros in the case of repeated violations. As soon as the limit of 50 new infections in a region in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded, there should be a mask requirement in heavily frequented public places.

Berlin: In the case of a violation of the mask requirement on buses and trains in Berlin, a fine of 50 to 500 euros will be levied.

Brandenburg: In Brandenburg, deliberately not using a corona mask costs at least 50 euros fine, up to 250 euros for “notorious mask refusers”. Anyone who inadvertently does not wear a mouth and nose cover and immediately follows the obligation should not have to pay a fine.

Bremen: Anyone who travels in shops or on buses and trains without a mouth and nose covering must expect a fine of 50 euros.

Hamburg: Anyone who is caught without a face-to-face mask in public places, such as in shops, faces a fine of 80 euros. In Hamburg’s buses or trains, a contractual penalty of 40 euros is still due, but this can now be increased by a fine of 40 euros, so that a total of 80 euros would then also be due.

Hessen: Anyone who does not wear a mouth and nose cover on buses and trains in Hesse must pay 50 euros without prior warning.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: The minimum fine for mask refusers in local transport and retail is 50 instead of 25 euros. The upper limit for mask violations is 150 euros.

Lower Saxony: In Lower Saxony, mask refusers have to pay up to 150 euros, the maximum amount for violations is 10,000 euros.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Anyone who does not wear a mask in supermarkets, for example, has to pay a fine of 50 euros. In the local public transport even 150 euros are due – without additional request.

Rhineland-Palatinate: Anyone who does not adhere to the mask requirement must pay 50 euros in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Saarland: Up to 100 euros must be paid for violations of the mask requirement; the authorities can leave it at a warning fee of 50 euros for the first violation.

Saxony: Violations of the mask requirement in local traffic and in shops will result in a fine of 60 euros.

Saxony-Anhalt: Anyone who violates the mask requirement in Saxony-Anhalt should not have to pay a fine in the future.

Schleswig-Holstein: Schleswig-Holstein asks mask refusers on buses and trains to pay a fine of 150 euros.

Thuringia: In Thuringia, mask refusers are fined 60 euros.

public events

Baden-Württemberg: Public meetings, congresses, trade fairs and smaller sporting events with up to 500 people are allowed. Large events such as folk festivals, at which hygiene measures can hardly be enforced and contacts cannot be traced, remain prohibited until at least the end of the year.

Bayern: The hosts of pubs and discos are allowed to rent out their rooms for private and cultural events. Professional or business-related events such as conferences or congresses are permitted under the same conditions as cultural events – that is, with assigned seats with up to 400 guests outdoors and 200 indoors. Without an allocation, the upper limit is 200 or 100 people. Markets without a folk festival character, such as smaller arts and crafts markets or flea markets without large numbers of visitors, are permitted outdoors subject to certain conditions. To curb the infections, the government is placing restrictions on residence in public spaces. If the incidence value rises steadily above 50, only people from a maximum of two households, close relatives or groups of up to five people should be able to gather. This should also apply to meetings on private property or meetings in privately used rooms.

Berlin: The maximum number of participants allowed at trade fairs, conferences and commercial leisure activities indoors is 750, from Thursday 1000 will be possible. Up to 5000 people are allowed to gather outside at such events, previously it was up to 1000. Innkeepers who do not take care of recording the names and telephone numbers of their guests face fines. Depending on the severity of the violations, up to 5000 euros can be due.

Brandenburg: Events can take place with up to 1000 people, including church services and concerts. Distance and hygiene rules as well as regulated access outdoors and sufficient fresh air in rooms and the collection of personal data must be guaranteed. Large events with more than 1000 people are generally prohibited until the New Year 2021. For drive-in cinemas or similar events, there may be exceptions from the health authorities in individual cases. Brandenburg now allows more than 1000 fans in large stadiums and halls. With a capacity of more than 5000 seats, 20 percent may be occupied by spectators. There is also a ban on alcohol. The regular upper limit of a maximum of 1000 people applies below 5,000 places.

Bremen: Events with up to 250 people indoors are allowed. Up to 400 people can come together for an event in the open air. The prerequisite for such gatherings is a concept that shows, among other things, that the guests can keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from one another. The organizers must record the names of the participants. Larger events and trade fairs are also possible under certain conditions. Instead of the Freimarkt folk festival, a temporary amusement park will be organized this year – with conditions and without alcohol.

Hamburg: Events with up to 1000 participants outdoors and 650 participants in closed rooms are permitted subject to certain conditions. From now on, more than 1000 spectators are again admitted to the soccer games of Hamburger SV and FC St. Pauli as well as to other major sporting events. The prerequisite is that the so-called seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants at the venue is less than 35 and the infection rate can be clearly delimited. The space capacity can be used to 20 percent.

Hessen: In principle, events with up to 250 people do not have to be approved, but hygiene and distance rules apply. Spectators at amateur sporting events are generally allowed up to the upper limit of 250, provided a hygiene concept is in place and three square meters are available to each spectator.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: A maximum of 200 people may participate in rooms, 500 for outdoor events. In exceptional cases, up to 400 people can be allowed in rooms and up to 1000 people outdoors. After a decision, more spectators can come to professional sporting events. The permissible upper limits should be based on the respective venue. Folk festivals remain prohibited.

Lower Saxony: There is an upper limit of 500 visitors for indoor and 1000 for outdoor events for events in the cultural sector. Changes will be made in October at the earliest.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Events with more than 1000 guests must be coordinated with the state – the municipalities are no longer allowed to decide on this alone. For events with more than 500 people participating, stricter requirements apply: Among other things, the organizer must ensure that travel to and from the event can take place in compliance with infection control. Under certain conditions, more than 300 spectators may come to sports events. At large events with more than 1000 sports fans, only a third of the seats may be occupied. Special regulations apply, for example, to the Bundesliga: according to an agreement between the federal states, only 20 percent of the places may be occupied. Stricter requirements apply in the cities of Hamm and Remscheid because the number of new infections there has recently been very high.

Rhineland-Palatinate: Up to 250 people can gather indoors at events, including trade fairs or markets. Events with up to 500 people are possible outdoors, provided the distance is maintained and contact details are recorded.

Saarland: Events in the open air are permitted with up to 900 people, in closed rooms with up to 450.

Saxony: Large events with more than 1,000 visitors are allowed again, but only if the number of new infections in the region of the event location does not exceed 20 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. Concerts can take place in jazz clubs or other smaller venues. Up to 1000 visitors can watch games and competitions under certain conditions. For major events with more than 1000 visitors, such as football matches, stricter regulations apply: contact tracing must be guaranteed and there must not be more than 20 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the region.

Saxony-Anhalt: At professionally organized events such as specialist conferences, club meetings or party meetings, up to 1,000 people are allowed in the open air. In closed rooms the number of participants is limited to 500, from November 1st it can be 1000. Professional sports and cultural events could be possible with significantly more participants after special approval by the health department and the Ministry of Health. Clubs and discos can reopen from November 1st. You may not let in more than 60 percent of the maximum number of visitors. Attendance lists must be kept and minimum distances must be observed. Prostitution sites are also allowed to reopen.

Schleswig-Holstein: Outdoor events are allowed for up to 500 participants, in closed rooms for up to 250.

Thuringia: For public events in closed rooms, the contact details of the participants must be recorded. Events such as folk, village, city, rifle or wine festivals, sporting events with spectators or festivals are possible with the approval of the respective health authority. The districts and independent cities can issue general orders depending on the infection rate. After an increase in new corona infections in the Weimarer Land district, public festivals and meetings with the exception of meetings of local parliaments are initially prohibited until October 4th.


Torsten Frings: “The Ferrari. Did that have to be now? “

Dhe training session with his new team is over. Torsten Frings is looking for a suitable place for a conversation. With his hair flowing, he trudges through the SV Meppen office. The press secretary’s office is too small, the conference room is occupied.

He spontaneously suggests the standing room in the stadium. A suitable place. Authenticity is a great asset to the 43-year-old, who played 402 Bundesliga games for Bremen, BVB and Bayern, as the interview clearly shows.

WORLD: In terms of infrastructure and working environment, you are used to a different level from your former clubs. Did you have to swallow briefly when you arrived in Meppen?

Frings: I think the conditions are really good.

WORLD: You have to say that now.


Matjessalat from grandma: How lucky to be an East Frisian!

When I think of my East Frisian homeland, I don’t think first of East Frisian tea, not of the dykes, the vastness, the mudflats, then I think of one thing above all: Grandma’s matjessalat. And then of cola grain, but first and foremost of matjessalat. I’ve always been a fish junkie, whether fried, grilled, smoked, pickled or raw, but nothing let me shoot to such culinary heights than the bite-sized, creamy, sweet and sour fish bites in my grandmother’s matjessalat.

Whenever I was visiting my grandparents and sitting on the small sofa in the kitchen with a fully loaded plate in front of me, I was suddenly no longer in my mid-twenties, but ten years old again. A “No thanks, I’m full” was not accepted. We ate until the navel bulged outwards.

Although the kitchen was the smallest room in the house, it was also the linchpin of everyday life. From here my grandma not only had us in view, but also the neighbors and everyone who usually walked outside her window that day. Nothing escaped her.

If the postman brought a suspicious package to one of the neighboring houses, she would know what was inside the next day at the latest through persistent questions or a spontaneous visit to the neighbors’ home. If she didn’t find out something, she did her best to at least keep the rumor mill in the neighborhood boiling.

Tea should not be missing from East Frisians

It was especially exciting when she noticed someone in the neighborhood whom she could not immediately identify. True to the saying Methusalix, the village elder of a Gallic village we know well: “I have nothing against strangers. But these strangers are not from here. ”Otherwise, however, she stuck to another saying:“ East Frisian cosiness always has a cup of tea ready. ”

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Whether neighbors, the postman or a spontaneous visit from the grandchildren, the water was turned on at the same moment as the guest approached the house and was already bubbling when he sat down at the kitchen table.

I have never seen the surface of the kitchen table, as it has been protected by a wax tablecloth decorated with flowers for as long as I can remember. Creaky pop music formed the soundtrack to gluttony, because the old radio next to the stove rattled from morning to night.

The first daily official act of my grandfather, who got up around five o’clock, was to turn on the radio after he put on his dark blue captain’s hat. In the evening he put it down on the way to bed, put his captain’s hat on the bedside table next to him and repeated the game the next morning.

Raisin bread with butter

Simple but tasty: buttered raisin bread

What: pa / Paul Mayall

If the radio was on, water was put on. For 60 years he brought my grandma tea and smeared it every morning Criminal statutes, East Frisian raisin bread, in bed. Then his duty was done.

My grandma took care of the rest of the basic culinary care in the house. At most, my grandfather was recruited to peel potatoes. With a lot of dedication and a lot more butter, my grandmother made sure that none of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren ever left her house hungry.

The sausages cut on the table

There was “Klütje”, a large yeast dumpling that is eaten with vanilla sauce and pieces of pear. Harvested in summer and eaten in winter were “Updrögt beans”: green beans that were pulled onto long strings with a darning needle and then dried in the utility room behind the house. They were prepared with mixed bacon and eaten with applesauce, which sounds strange, but is very tasty.

And then Pümmelwurst. In southern Germany you have your Landjäger, in East Frisia you have pümmelwurst. A coarse, unsmoked sausage seasoned with salt and pepper. Before consumption, the fresh pummel sausages were dried for several weeks in the utility room next to the Updrögt beans.

If they were hard enough, my grandmother gave them a quick test. When she got impatient, she would sometimes secretly use her knuckle when hitting the table to make it pop louder to prove that the sausage had hung long enough. Even if it wasn’t.

To cut the sausage, my grandpa took his old jackknife out of the pocket of his corduroy trousers, the blade of which had lost around half of its original width through years of sharpening. “That’s my father’s knife, he used it to cut our toenails in the morning and pümmelwurst in the evening,” he said proudly at some point, whereupon I began to cut the sausage myself. With the kitchen knife.

The secret of grandma’s matjessalat revealed

And again and again Matjessalat. How many swarms Clupea harengus I must have eaten at my grandma’s kitchen table in my childhood and youth, I can only guess. Several.

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Fish rolls

However, I still do not know some dishes because my grandmother stubbornly refused to tell me what I was eating at times. Fearing that just knowing it would lead me to disdain their food.

“I know you guys (Low German for people) yes. Suddenly it’s no longer cool to eat meat and you just want to go to McDonald’s. Now eat, otherwise it will be cold! “, She said, usually determined and kept her secrets from the East Frisian kitchen like a Carthusian monk.

She served my mother’s house rabbits as fried chicken. It wasn’t until relatively late that my mother checked that the chickens had four legs but no wings.

Then at some point on Christmas Eve my grandmother gave me a cookbook full of recipes from East Frisia, wrapped in blue fabric. And right at the front of the first page, before the preface begins, handwritten, was written in shaky script: “Grandma’s matjessalat. Take a can of Aldi cream herring and carefully stir in a hard-boiled egg and a chopped apple. Good Appetite.”

Lennart Adam lives in Flensburg and blogs his experiences on derrufderaale.com.

The map shows 25 selected German delicacies with a protected geographical origin under EU law. Hover your mouse over the white crosses to see them.

Source: Illustration: DIE WELT / Florence Bouchain

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