2G + rule: Corona test for a cup of coffee

Status: 08.12.2021 16:29

In some federal states, 2G + applies in many places: Vaccinated or recovered – plus testing. Restaurateurs or gym operators need strong nerves for the implementation.

By Christian Kretschmer and Marion Mühlenkamp, ​​SWR

The cake exhibition in Frank Kaiser’s confectionery in Bad Kreuznach, Rhineland-Palatinate, is packed to the brim. But only two tables are occupied in the spacious traditional café. “We have a lot of walk-in customers,” Kaiser says. “Some people go for a walk here in the spa area and then spontaneously stop by for a cup of coffee.” But just get tested for a cup of coffee? It’s too much work for most people, says the pastry chef. “Of course we miss these customers.”

“You are always on guard”

Since the weekend, stricter corona rules have had to be implemented in Rhineland-Palatinate, as in Baden-Württemberg. 2G + applies in gastronomy and indoor sports: that is, in all places where a mask can not be worn permanently. Only those who are vaccinated or healthy and who can simultaneously show a current, negative coronal test may enter. This does not apply to people who have already received their “booster” vaccination. No simple guidelines for those who need to check them out. “People are constantly on the lookout and trying to figure out the applicable rules from the internet and from the newspapers,” says pastry chef Kaiser.

Stephanie Hilgert, owner of a hotel with a restaurant in Bad Kreuznach, has therefore taken extra precautions. She opens a white box at the reception – it is “like gold”. In it: quick tests for those guests who have not yet made one. “It was very difficult to get them,” Hilgert says. “The tests are sold out everywhere right now.” Despite her efforts, the hotel operator feels that the bustle is slowing down markedly: “At the moment, there are primarily cancellations.” There were more than a hundred alone in the past week. “After all, the guests are scared,” says Hilgert. She tries to point out the possibility of testing on site, which should then provide a bit of reassurance.

Some customers react aggressively

Hans Gerhard Merkelbach, owner of a fitness center on the outskirts of Bad Kreuznach, is also hoping for safety. Anyone who wants to play sports there will even get a fever measured. 2G + also applies here. Some of the customers in the studio are not very enthusiastic about it. “Some become aggressive towards our employees,” says Merkelbach – out of frustration with the admission requirements. “Sometimes we do not know what to do anymore.”

Although almost all customers have been vaccinated, significantly fewer have been vaccinated for the third time. Merkelbach also fears a drop in sales in the near future. “Many people no longer want to be in the studio because they don’t get a booster so quickly,” he says. “If people stay home, we will no longer withdraw the contingent. That would not be fair.” Financially, however, it would hardly be sustainable for him in the long run. Because the studio is not supposed to close – but the fixed costs remain high, for example for electricity and staff. “That’s the problem,” Merkelbach says.

Random checks

The 2G + rules are randomly controlled by municipalities and districts. A large-scale inspection of the supervisory offices is not possible by staff alone, says the district administrator of the Bad Kreuznach district, Bettina Dickes. “I believe that the vast majority will play by the rules.” Although all information and complaints are followed up, the focus is essentially on a few companies – namely those who have already ignored the corona rules in the past.

Shoppers in Bad Kreuznach are hoping for relief from as many booster vaccinations as possible. Politicians should have expanded the number of test stations much earlier, says the gym’s operator Merkelbach. “Most people stay home because they do not want to stand in the cold for an hour and then go to a restaurant or gym for an hour.” His studio still has about 400 tests available to customers. “But at some point, they will also be used up.”

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