As Berlin contemplates a national lockdown, the Saxon town of Augustusburg feels like an expensive village – like the fictional and indomitable village, the birthplace of the comic hero Asterix. People in Augustusburg do not see themselves as Corona rebels or agitators. But in Augustusburg, thanks to a typical project, everything is open, while in the rest of the country there are strict restrictions.
Even before the outbreak of the epidemic, the 700-year-old town was proclaimed “a city with insight”. According to this slogan, Augustusburg began a unique model project at the national level on April 1: the city near Chemnitz does not train for the uprising against the Corona measures, but, on the contrary, opens hotels, restaurants and museums under epidemic conditions. Visitors who have tested positive for Coronavirus can go on vacation, eat out, or visit the castle with its museums. There is great interest. My city hotel is fully booked over Easter weekend. The number of visitors since the start of the project has exceeded 7,000.
With the “New Beginning” project, the community of 4,500 residents wants to “create a part of normality in the event of closure,” said Mayor Dirk Neubauer. “Berlin newspaper”. The aim is to “remove people’s fears that our lives will not be the same again.” He is deeply anxious: “For many people, fear has eroded deep in their bones and souls. Who tells us that the urban community that once worked has returned, and that clubs can return to life after the pandemic? Can we preserve our democracy?”
Drink beer in the bar in the evening: “world class”
The mayor wants to scientifically prove that vents are also possible in times of a pandemic. Neubauer is convinced the key lies in the daily test. The digital tracking system records the data of holiday guests who have to take a corona test daily. There, visitors show their QR code that they received via email when registering to visit the city. There is a test stick in a bag with the corresponding QR code. Test result will be in email inbox within 15 minutes.
If the test is negative, you can start your leave. The code is scanned upon entering hotels, restaurants and museums. On the other hand, if the test is positive, those affected must inform the Ministry of Health and take a PCR test. QR code blocked.
So far, there have only been dozens of positive tests, according to Mayor Neubauer, who spoke of a successful model test and is also being performed in Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland. But now the emergency brakes are threatening at the federal level. “If you just look at the numbers, we’re going to have to close everything here,” says Neubauer. 15 infected people per 4,500 inhabitants – this corresponds to an incidence of more than 300. They are always just numbers, and Augustusburg encourages people to show that there are solutions and perspectives: “A small ray of hope at this time – that would be a thing. “Also have a beer in the bar in the evening:“ world class, ”says Newpower.“ Beautiful. ”(Kis)
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