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Coronavirus: "We appeal to the common sense of all citizens"

With further measures to contain coronavirus infections, public life, including in Bonn, is increasingly restricted.

Mayor Ashok Sridharan therefore addressed all residents of Bonn: "The ever-increasing cuts in our social life demand a lot of understanding and patience from everyone. I have the heartfelt request: Stay calm and alert, observe the instructions on hygiene, keep your distance and refrain from major social gatherings for the time being. Practice solidarity and help others. Now it will become clear how our society holds together and how it can survive difficult times. Please remain calm: there is no reason for panic buying, because the supply is guaranteed, as the retailers I am in contact with have confirmed."

As regards, for example, the announced closures of shops and the evening closures of restaurants, the city is waiting for the provincial government's decree, which will then be published by way of a further general decree in the city's official gazette; it will then enter into force the following day.

Little demand for childcare

On Monday and Tuesday, the parents could decide for themselves whether to send their children to the daycare or school. As of Wednesday, a certificate from the employers is required that both parents or the single parent is employed in jobs in critical infrastructure. "To our great surprise, only a total of 22 children came to all the municipal day-care centres for childcare," said Carolin Krause, Head of the Department for School, Social Affairs and Youth. Around 200 children were cared for in kindergartens run by other organisations.

For questions about childcare there is a new e-mail address at the Office for Children, Youth and Family: corona-kinderbetreuungbonnde. The announced hotline can be reached under Tel. 0228 - 77 40 70 Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Also in the schools it hardly looked different than in the day-care centres: In 51 groups at primary schools 155 children were looked after. At the secondary schools there were 13 groups with a total of 25 children.

The information evenings for the parents of the children, who will be subject to compulsory schooling for the first time in 2022, which are planned for the coming days, are cancelled. This concerns the dates of today's March 17th at the KGS Bernhardschule, March 18th at the GGS Ludwig-Richter-Schule, March 24th at the GGS Robert-Koch-Schule, March 26th at the KGS Holzlar, March 31st at the GGS Adelheidisschule and April 1st at the GGS Michaelschule.

Playgrounds and football grounds

"I would have liked to keep playgrounds and football fields open," says Mayor Sridharan, "but the Chancellor's statements and announcements by the state government are clear: we have to close. Control is not easy. "I appeal to the understanding of the guardians to explain the necessity of this restriction to their children." This would also apply to students who now understandably wanted to meet their friends outside. "But they too must understand that this is counterproductive: We are closing the schools because we want to avoid too much proximity and the risk of infection." 

General disposition for retirement homes

In order to protect the residents of old people's homes, integration assistance facilities and outpatient assisted living communities, the Federal City of Bonn restricts visits initially until 19 April by means of a general decree, which will be made public on Tuesday, 17 March 2020.

The following regulations apply: Access to the facilities must be minimized. Community activities with external persons are prohibited with immediate effect, visits may be permitted in individual cases subject to conditions and may only take place in the room and no longer in common rooms. Visitors and employees must be registered. Persons who have stayed in a risk area defined by the Robert Koch Institute in the last 14 days, who have had direct contact with a corona infected person, who have a fever or suffer from cough/breathing difficulties, who have a positive test result for the corona virus or who have been classified as contact persons by the health authorities are prohibited from entering senior citizens' facilities.

Contact to the city administration

Mayor Sridharan appealed once again to keep personal contacts with the city administration to a minimum and to make an appointment beforehand. "Please call or e-mail us - this is for your protection and that of our staff." From now on, citizens would need an appointment in all departments of the city administration. Sridharan: "We can no longer allow people to come to us unchecked."

Thus, access is also restricted in the Foreigners' Department: "Anyone who has made an appointment by telephone can enter the building. Anyone who needs an urgent appointment will of course get one," says the responsible department head, city director Wolfgang Fuchs. With regard to the Service Centre, he asked that only really necessary appointments be requested: "Please do not make appointments that are not necessary at this time, just because you have time now because of the restrictions in your job".

The administration is currently working on a uniform regulation for access to the administrative areas. In the next few days it will also examine which services could be maintained. 

Solidarity fund for the independent cultural scene

Mayor Sridharan announced a solidarity fund of 200,000 euros to support the independent scene: "We will refrain from holding our own events of the cultural office, such as the planned "Opernrasen", the "Vielfalt" festival, the Stadtgarten concerts and Käpt'n Book". Political decisions will be taken on the mode of distribution.

For the pupils of the music school an offer via Skype, WhatsApp etc. will be available from Wednesday. The adult education centre is considering "learning via cloud".

The municipal library is suspending dunning procedures for the time being. The outside return at the Bottlerplatz building will be closed to encourage no one to go into town, but also due to lack of space on the shelves. The Central Library (Tel. 772277 and 775242) and the two branches in Bad Godesberg, Beuel, Brüser Berg, Tannenbusch and the Music Library can be reached by telephone from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but not the voluntary branches in Endenich, Dottendorf and Auerberg. "Here, too, I encourage all users to make use of the digital services of the municipal library, such as e-media, newspaper and magazine portals, etc.", says Dr Birgit Schneider-Bönninger, head of the Department of Sport and Culture.

Return of purchased tickets

The box offices of the Theater Bonn (Windeckstraße 1 as well as in the Schauspielhaus Bad Godesberg, Am Michaelshof 9) will remain closed for the time being. For the return of already purchased tickets for performances of the theatre and the orchestra affected by the performance cancellation, please refer to the homepage of the theatre (https://www.theater-bonn.de/de/vorstellungsausfall) or the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn (www.beethoven-orchester.de). For performances until April 19, the money will be refunded or a voucher will be issued. "Perhaps some people will consider waiving the repayment and donating the money to the independent scene," Schneider-Bönninger hopes.

The Bonn Information Centre will also close and is only available by telephone. All public city tours until the end of April, for which the Bonn-Information is the organizer, have been cancelled. All guests will be informed in advance, if possible. Tickets can be returned or exchanged for a later date.

All events of the city of Bonn within the framework of Girls' & Boys' Day on 26 March 2020 will be cancelled. All events for girls and boys on Thursday, 26 March 2020, for example in the sewage treatment plants, the city forester's office, the city library or the day care centres for children, will therefore not take place.

The mourning halls in the city cemeteries will be closed, funerals will take place, but should limit the number of mourners.
The canteen in the town hall is now closed to external visitors.

Appeal to retired doctors

With regard to the hotline 0228 - 7175, Mayor Sridharan said: "I hereby make an appeal to all retired doctors: Please support us with the telephone service at the public health department. Anyone who is willing to do so can report to the city's public health department.

64 confirmed coronavirus infections

As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases was 64, the number of influenza cases was 538. 56 people were tested by smear test in the diagnostic centre, the second floor of which is due to open next weekend.

City informs on the Internet

The city of Bonn provides daily updated information on its website about the coronavirus situation in the federal city: www.bonn.de/coronavirus.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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