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Overnight stays, Nextbike, contact bans: In Bonn all hotels will be closed

Overnight stays, Nextbike, contact bans : In Bonn all hotels will be closed

The city of Bonn is taking further measures to combat the spread of the corona virus. Hotels and guesthouses are no longer allowed to accept guests, and there is also a change in regard to Nextbike. Meanwhile, three patients are in intensive care in Bonn.

In Bonn, all hotels and guesthouses as well as the youth hostel on the Venusberg will also close in connection with the Corona crisis. Up to now, the accommodation facilities were still allowed to accommodate business travellers. The city of Bonn wants to issue a general order for complete closure in addition to the legal ordinance issued by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday. "We are ordering the closure in agreement with the hotel and restaurant association, which has expressly asked us for this order," explained Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan at a press conference with representatives of his crisis management team in the town hall on Monday afternoon. Contrary to what was announced on Monday, the order is not yet effective from Tuesday. The city is working on it and wants to publish the decree on Tuesday, announced city spokeswoman Monika Hörig.

As of Monday afternoon, there are now 137 cases in Bonn tested positive for the new coronavirus. Seven people are so seriously ill that they must be treated as inpatients. Three of them are in intensive care.

Michael Schlösser is chairman of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) Bonn and is glad that a uniform solution for hotels and guesthouses will now apply. "In Cologne they've been closed for a few days already." With the official order, legal certainty now also exists for the Bonn companies with regard to future claims for damages. In the case of voluntary closures, the operators would be concerned whether their requests for short-time work would be taken into account. Dehoga was also concerned about employee protection. At the same time, Schlösser proposed an exceptional regulation according to which overnight accommodation should be made available for people from systemically important professions in order to secure the general basic supply. "We can provide beds within a few hours. This had also been agreed with the city.

Sridharan expressly welcomed the ban on contact for more than two people imposed by the state: "Even if the name differs from that in Bavaria, the regulations are almost identical. This was important to me in order to avoid isolated solutions. And it is also important to me that we implement these restrictions on the freedom of movement for citizens with a sense of proportion and proportionality. Because even if it makes a lot of sense in the current situation, it is still fundamental rights that we are restricting with this. The Mayor also emphasised that, unlike the Land's legal ordinance, which is valid until 19 April, the city's general decrees are of unlimited duration and the city will amend or repeal them immediately if the situation changes.

Even though many citizens now seem to comply with the regulations and the ban on contact that has been in force since Sunday night (exceptions apply only to close family members): it seems that some still don't understand the seriousness of the situation. For example, the city's public order service had to instruct a total of 300 people at the weekend, especially on sports fields, on the banks of the Rhine and in the Rhine floodplain, because they were travelling in larger groups than the ten people allowed at that time, said Günter Dick, head of the city's citizens' office. Also, as reported, twelve pubs and restaurants and 15 shops were open on Saturday despite the ban. Up to now, the police had appealed to reason, he said, and this had had an effect. From now on, however, intransigent behaviour will be sanctioned and punished with fines and criminal charges. At least 200 to a maximum of 25,000 Euro will be due, said city spokeswoman Monika Hörig. In addition, extreme violations will be punishable by imprisonment for up to five years.

Everyone agrees: Getting out and about in fresh air – of course in accordance with the currently required distance of at least 1.50 metres, if not more – is a good weapon against the viral disease. Thus the city has taken up an idea of the Green City Councillor Rolf Beu and wants to make the rental bikes of Nextbike in Bonn available to every citizen for half an hour a day free of charge until further notice. According to the mayor, the city is negotiating with the public utilities about the financing.

Original text: Lisa Inhoffen

Translation: Mareike Graepel