Daycare centers and schools will remain closed until February 14. Implementation is to be restrictive.

Decisions of the Chancellor and Prime Ministers of 19 January - The quick overview for parents and families

How to proceed with day-care centres and schools in the coming weeks was obviously one of the central points of discussion at the Corona talks between the Chancellor and the Minister Presidents of the federal states on Tuesday. In the end, a seemingly clear regulation has been decided, but of course it leaves room for interpretation.

Daycare centers and schools will remain closed until February 14. Implementation is to be restrictive.

Daycare and school closures will continue and are to be implemented more restrictively

The most important decision for parents and children concerns the continuation of the measures previously in force. That is, daycare centers and schools will remain closed until February 14. The implementation of the daycare and school closures is to be restrictive. This means that schools will remain closed or compulsory attendance will be suspended. In principle, therefore, the last measures implemented by the federal states will remain in place - whether there will be any changes will be decided by the federal states in the next few days.

The extension of the day-care centre and school closures is justified in particular by the fact that "there are indications that the mutation B.1.1.7 of the SARS-CoV 2 virus is also spreading more strongly among children".

For parents, this means that in the vast majority of cases they will have to care for their children at home - as has been the case in recent weeks, as well as during the lockdown in the spring of 2020.

Emergency care in daycare centres and schools

Emergency care will certainly continue to be available, whether or not the regulations will be tightened will be seen in the next few days as the states decide on the new regulations. We will update our Corona-what-if page as soon as the new regulations are finalized. (Corona-what-do-you-call-it).

Expansion of the number of children's sick days

For parents who have to take care of their children at home due to daycare and school closures, the number of so-called children's sick days has been increased by 10, and by 20 days for single parents. This means that in this case, the health insurance fund will cover part of the cost of lost wages. However, the reimbursement amount does not correspond to the full net wage, but is lower.

In principle, it is sufficient that the compulsory attendance is suspended or that the daycare centres are not to be visited. Have this certified by the daycare or school management and present this certificate to the health insurance company.

Home office should be increasingly made possible

There have already been intensive discussions in recent days about the fact that employees should increasingly be allowed to work from home. However, the resolution does not specify what the home office regulation should look like in concrete terms. Instead, it states that "employers must enable employees to work from home wherever possible, insofar as the activities allow this". To this end, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is to present a regulation that is to be valid until 15 March.

This regulation therefore applies until mid-March and not only until mid-February. However, it remains to be seen what the provisions will look like in concrete terms.

Furthermore: Only meetings with a maximum of one other person allowed

As has been the case in recent weeks, you may only meet with a maximum of one person who is not a member of your household. This is a severe restriction compared to the previous regulation. Specific regulations for children are not named. It is possible that the Länder will allow exceptions here, as has already been the case in recent weeks. It is to be wished for the children - and parents.

Are the children allowed to meet their friends?

In principle, children are still only allowed to meet a boyfriend or girlfriend. This is an unnecessary hardship, especially for younger children. It is to be wished for the children - and parents - that the countries make looser specifications here.

So what happens after February 15, 2021?

The agreed regulations will initially apply until 14 February 2021, after which the Federal Chancellor and the Minister Presidents of the federal states will decide how to proceed "in good time before 14 February". Interestingly, a working group is to develop a concept for a safe and fair opening strategy by then.

State sovereignty

It is also important that the federal states are responsible for the concrete implementation and can adapt the regulations within the framework of the agreements. Our website Corona-was-darf-ich provides information about the further regulations in the federal states. (Corona-what-do-you-call-it).


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