Hamburg to introduce curfew amid rising Covid-19 cases

The city state of Hamburg is taking tougher action as coronavirus cases surge by introducing a night-time curfew.

Hamburg to introduce curfew amid rising Covid-19 cases
People enjoying warm temperatures in Hamburg on March 30th. Photo: DPA

From Good Friday (April 2nd), Hamburg residents are being ordered to stay at home between 9pm and 5am unless they have a valid reason to be outside, reported Spiegel.

It means shops also have to close from 9pm. Delivery services, however, are still allowed to deliver food after that time. Jogging outside will still be possible, and commuting to work is also allowed.

However, Mayor Peter Tschentscher said on Wednesday that all unnecessary journeys must be avoided.

People who are out on the streets in the evening after 9pm may be approached by police, said interior senator Andy Grote. There will be an increased police presence over Easter.

Officers will deal with this “drastic measure in a proportionate manner”, Tschentscher said.

The new measure, in response to increasing coronavirus numbers, will be in effect initially until April 18th.

Hamburg’s 7-day incidence climbed from 153.7 to 163.7 per 100,000 people on Wednesday.

The number of coronavirus infections increased by 590 cases within a day, according to the health authority on Wednesday. This is the largest single-day increase since January 5th.

READ ALSO: German health experts call for strict lockdown to quell Covid-19 cases

Compulsory testing for pupils and teachers

Daycare centres in the city will be shut except for emergency care after Easter, Tschentscher added.

At schools, in-person classes are to be maintained in part, but compulsory testing is to apply to pupils and teachers.

In workplaces, the obligation to wear a mask will be tightened. As soon as more than one person is working in a room, medical masks must be worn at all times. 

Tschentscher appealed to companies to carry out rapid tests on their employees.

Curfews agreed by federal and state ministers

Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers agreed on March 22nd that curfews could be imposed in areas with a 7-day incidence of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. 

Several parts of Germany have introduced curfews in a bid to control the virus at different stages of the pandemic and to contain local outbreaks.

On Tuesday, Brandenburg decided that a curfew would apply in districts with an incidence rate of more than 100. In Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, a night-time curfew will apply from Thursday.

At the beginning of February, the Mannheim Administrative Court overturned a state-wide curfew in Baden-Württemberg.

READ ALSO: Germany’s coronavirus incidence rate more than doubles in four weeks


Curfew – (die) Ausgangssperre

Good Friday – (der) Karfreitag

In the street – auf der Straße

Testing obligation – die Testpflicht

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.