Keeping up with the different measures implemented to contain the COVID-19 virus can be hard. It seems like every state, city and county have released their own set of restrictions, resulting in a patchwork of different rules and regulations; leaving people confused and frustrated. As an example, on the way from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt, a traveler faces three different sets of rules and regulations.
To address Germany’s COVID-19 response the chancellor discusses appropriate measures with the minister presidents of the German states. Due to the differing numbers of new infections across German cities and states, measures applied will vary. In addition, states do not necessarily implement the measures as agreed.
“The Robert-Koch-Institut is the decisive factor in the evaluation of the corona situation,” said Carl-Michael Baum, chief citizen affairs of the city of Wiesbaden. “The RKI communicates the situation, the numbers, to the federal government and suggests measures and determines risk areas.”
Within Germany, the incidence rate (number of infections per 100,000 people within seven days) up to 20 is green, up to 35 is yellow, up to 50 is orange and above 50 is red.
The predefined measures are minimum requirements. Individual municipalities are free to implement stricter measures when deemed necessary. This is what contributes to the patchwork (Flickenteppich), they talk about in the German news, meaning measures taken differ all over the country.
Sometimes, measures implemented by state governments are overturned by the local courts, this can result in differences between the German states,” Baum said. “In Hessen, the state government has defined measures that have to be implemented by the municipalities when certain thresholds are reached.”
In a press conference, the mayor of Wiesbaden, Dr. Oliver Franz, said that it was the desire of the city of Wiesbaden to work together with the surrounding counties and cities and create more common regulations, so that it would be easier for the people to follow them.
In order to stay up-to-date on COVID, the German news, the Wiesbaden website (wiesbaden.de) and the RKI website (rki.de) are good resources, Baum said. The RKI website is available in 10 languages.
For information in English, community members can go to the garrison website home.army.mil/wiesbaden and the garrison Facebook page facebook.com/usagwiesbaden. Translations of press releases by the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden and the state governments of Hessen and Rheinland-Pfalz are available there in addition to Army-internal regulations such as general orders.
Additionally, the city of Mainz offers the COVID website in English as well with updated information on the current regulations. This can be found at mainz.de/en/service/protection-against-coronavirus-infections.php.