When the Chancellor and the Prime Ministers decided on the November lockdown just under a month ago, the message to the population was clearly formulated: we all have to restrict ourselves a bit and reduce contacts so that Christmas can be saved with the family.

It is now clear: the November measures were not enough, the lockdown will be extended to at least December 20 and even tightened.

Only five people from two households should be allowed to meet now, according to a resolution that the prime ministers discussed on Monday evening.

The results of the four-and-a-half-hour video conference are to be agreed again this Tuesday between Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU) and the heads of the state chancelleries and then finally decided on Wednesday in a new round of talks between the 16 heads of government and the Chancellor.

It will also be about the exact regulation for the Christmas days.

It is true that the Christmas days are to be “considered separately” with a view to the regulations on contact restrictions, as stated in the template.

From December 21st to 27th, possibly also until January 3rd, it should also be possible for one household to meet with family members or non-household persons from several other households.


But here, too, strict upper limits should apply: the meetings under the Christmas tree should be limited to five or a maximum of ten people.

Children up to 14 years of age are exempt from this.

"With this regulation, Christmas should also be possible in this special year as a celebration with family and friends, albeit on a smaller scale," said the Prime Minister's video conference in a draft drawn up by the Berlin Senate Chancellery.

In addition, it is advisable to “go into a domestic self-quarantine for several days if possible” before and after the holidays.

"Thought too small for large families"

In the opposition, these proposals are viewed as completely unworldly.

"Such rigid regulations are far removed from the realities of life for many families and, in the long term, squander trust in the state measures to contain the corona pandemic," said the deputy FDP parliamentary group leader Katja Suding, WELT.


Patchwork families in particular are faced with such an inflexible regulation before the unreasonable decision of who can sit under the Christmas tree and who is not.

"We should trust families to independently and responsibly decide how many family members they want to celebrate Christmas with."

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Hans-Ulrich Rülke, the leader of the FDP parliamentary group in Baden-Württemberg, said that a ban would be "hardly controllable or enforceable" and would simply go too far: "We must not jeopardize family peace on the holidays through state-sanctioned interventions."

Criticism also comes from the Left Party.

Large family celebrations should be avoided as far as possible, said Katrin Werner, family policy spokeswoman for the parliamentary group.

"But a rigid limit on the number of people or households for Christmas does not make sense," said Werner WELT.


The AfD rejects any interference in family and private life and thus also any contact restrictions within the family, as its family policy spokesman Martin Reichardt said: "The contact restrictions required by the Prime Minister for private meetings are hostile to the family and unrealistic."

The Christmas rules cause problems especially for families with many children.

According to the proposed resolution, children up to 14 years of age do not count towards the maximum person threshold - but older ones do.

For the nationwide 1.4 million families with three or more children, the decision therefore raises "big questions for implementation", criticized Elisabeth Müller, chairwoman of the Association of Large Families.

“This rule is hardly practicable even for small families, it is practically impracticable for large families.

A contact limit that is based solely on the number of people is too small for large families. "

This is how the countries defend the Christmas plan

The heads of government and ministers of the federal states defended the planned Christmas regulations.

"I do not see large celebrations with 30 people and I do not consider them responsible," said Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU).

Christmas parties in small groups of up to ten people, on the other hand, are also possible under Corona conditions.

"We definitely want to have a set of rules for Christmas that enables encounters that many are looking forward to - with family or friends."

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) pleaded for at least ten people to come together for Christmas.

"Christmas with family and friends is of particular importance for many citizens - even more so in this challenging year," said NRW Family Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP).

Restrictions to reduce the corona pandemic should therefore not lead to social exclusion - especially for single people, he told WELT.

"It is important that nobody has to stay alone for Christmas due to the Corona regulations."

The Bavarian Minister for Family and Social Affairs Carolina Trautner (CSU) announced a large Advent and Christmas campaign under the heading “Our social Bavaria - we help together”, in order to support senior citizens and families in particular, for example with pastoral care.

"It is very important to me that nobody feels alone during Advent and Christmas."

Can Santa Claus still work in lockdown?

A resolution proposed by the federal states states that Christmas this year can only be celebrated in the family.

But what about Santa Claus?

Is it considered a potential super spreader?

Source: WORLD


North Rhine-Westphalia's Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) said that the planned regulations were "by and large in the right direction".

It is “right to continue to be very, very careful”.

According to Laumann, this should also apply to New Year's Eve: "The Corona Protection Ordinance does not allow large gatherings now and the next one will not allow either." The firing ban on New Year's Eve demanded by the SPD-led countries, however, will probably not come.

North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) pleaded on ZDF not to prohibit “this little private fireworks”.

Ekin Deligöz, family policy spokeswoman for the Greens parliamentary group, recalled that family celebrations in particular are suspected to be the reason for the sharp increase in the number of infections.

That is why one must also use common sense and appeal to personal responsibility.

"Christmas is first and foremost a celebration of love, and there are many ways to show people love and affection," says Deligöz.

"Because just as important as the wish to spend the Christmas season with loved ones this year is the wish that these loved ones stay healthy and that we can spend next Christmas with them."

The family policy spokesman for the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Marcus Weinberg, argues similarly.

"For our Christian country, Christmas in particular has a very special meaning as a family celebration," said the CDU politician.

That is why everyone must now work consistently to comply with the contact restrictions so that there can be easing at Christmas.

Older people in particular could not imagine a festival without their loved ones.

“We know that many older people prefer to sit with their families in protective equipment and masks than alone at home or in a retirement home.

We have to listen to these people in all our measures. ”This also applies to families with several children.

"What must not happen under any circumstances that we lose these people and our necessary measures, which we take to protect people, meet with incomprehension and rejection," said Weinberg.

His colleague Sönke Rix from the SPD said that the regulations that the federal and state governments want to pass on Wednesday must be measured against the new civil protection law in any case.

This stipulates that the measures must be justified carefully and in a court-proof manner, as well as a maximum of four weeks in each case.

"It is clear to me, however, that contact restrictions for families as a means against the spread of Covid-19 can only be considered as a last resort," said Rix.

"Nobody has fun spoiling families, and especially the children, at Christmas."

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