Lower Saxony and BW are struggling: states are critical of the 15-kilometer rule

Lower Saxony and BW struggle
Countries are critical of the 15 kilometer rule

The federal and state governments want to contain the pandemic by restricting freedom of movement in corona hotspots. But not everyone agrees with the rule. Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg want to wait and see.

Lower Saxony does not want to simply implement the restriction of freedom of movement in hotspots decided upon in the federal-state consultations on the corona crisis. A separate justification for proportionality is necessary, as the Higher Administrative Court has already warned about other restrictions, said Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil on Tuesday evening in Hanover.

"For us, this is part of the test program to determine whether and when the regulation is applied, preferably not at all." Both with the introduction of a curfew and the ban on firecrackers, the court demanded a valid justification, the mere reference to the federal-state decisions was not enough for the judges, explained Weil.

According to the new resolutions, people in counties with very high numbers of corona infections will face a drastic restriction on their freedom of movement. From a 7-day incidence of over 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, the federal states should take local measures to limit the range of motion to 15 kilometers around the place of residence. In Lower Saxony, however, there is currently no district in which the 7-day incidence approaches 200.

Baden-Württemberg is also still keeping the decision on tightening some measures open. The restriction of freedom of movement to a radius of 15 kilometers around the place of residence in corona hotspots with a seven-day incidence of more than 200 is not initially planned, said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann. "We must first come to reliable values ​​next week in order to make a decision." Most recently, the number was just over 200 in only two districts in the southwest, and just below it in two more. In the coming week, the green-black state government wants to decide on the basis of new figures whether daycare centers and primary schools may open from January 18.

Meanwhile, the FDP politician Wolfgang Kubicki expressed sharp criticism of the planned restriction of freedom of movement. The idea for this new instrument has "no explicit legal anchoring", said the Bundestag vice-president of the "Handelsblatt". "So an instrument about which once again no parliamentary debate has taken place and which is being negotiated behind closed doors," added Kubicki. "Contrary to all assurances, there was no learning effect in the Chancellery."