How to open a city from lockdown

17 March 2021

The German city Tuebingen is trying a new way out of lockdown. Despite high numbers of coronavirus infections in Germany, shops, restaurants and cinemas in Tuebingen are opening again. For access, one needs a ‘day pass’ proving a negative test result from the same day. Six test centres offer free rapid tests, six days per week.

With its opening strategy, Tuebingen is a pilot project for the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and its capital Stuttgart. The trial, monitored by the university hospital of Tuebingen, started on Tuesday and will continue until the Easter weekend.

Pilot project for larger cities

“We hope that the project will help us find a way to give people a little more normality,” said Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of Baden Wuerttemberg. “Hopefully, we will open up new perspectives for the sectors that are particularly affected by the lockdown.”

If the pilot is successful and the number of coronavirus infections in Tuebingen does not increase after the opening, the model could be tested in larger cities like Stuttgart.

The ‘Tuebinger way’ of preventive testing

Tuebingen has kept the coronavirus infection figures in the city low in recent months with intensive testing. For the pilot phase, the city expects 250,000 tests for its 90,000 residents and its visitors.

“We thank the state for the opportunity to test how a city can be opened safely,” said Boris Palmer, the Mayor of Tuebingen. “This is another step on Tuebingen’s way to bring the pandemic under control through preventive testing.”

Tuebingen has set up six centres for corona rapid tests in the city

Images © City of Tuebingen | Brian Merrill on Pixabay