Rest days over Easter: What that means for employees and the economy
Easter should become the haven of calm and breakwater for the pandemic – at least that’s what Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the country leaders hope. April closes almost everything, the contact rules are tightened. Maundy Thursday is actually not a public holiday in Germany – that causes confusion.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the country leaders decided during the night to define April 1st (Holy Thursday) and April 3rd (Holy Saturday) as days of rest this year. Maundy Thursday should be considered a public holiday
“Thursday should look like a public holiday,” said Hamburg’s Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) about the regulation this year. The federal government is currently creating the legal framework for this. It should also go to the question of the surcharges for employees. Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) expects a mandatory rest day for almost all employees on Maundy Thursday as part of the Easter lockdown – even if they work at home. Working life will mostly come to a standstill that day, and kindergartens are also expected to remain closed, he said on Tuesday.
Supermarkets in fear of rush
All supermarkets are also expected to close on this day. The grocery trade therefore fears long queues on the Wednesday and Saturday before Easter.
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“Experience shows that the number of customers is very high in the calendar week before Easter. In our opinion, an additional closure of the grocery retail trade on Maundy Thursday will not lead to the hoped-for equalization of shopping activities, but rather to a concentration of purchases in the first half of the week as well as on Easter Saturday “, warned the discounter Aldi-Süd.
Even drugstores should close
The verdict of the drugstore chain Rossmann was even harsher, which according to the resolutions of the federal and state governments is probably not allowed to open on Easter Saturday. “With this decision, politicians have unfortunately moved away from the reality of people’s lives,” said the managing director of the drugstore chain, Raoul Roßmann. One looks to the coming week with concern.
Tschentscher relies on preparation
Hamburg’s CDU parliamentary group leader Dennis Thering had also expressed this concern. Tschentscher said on the subject at the state press conference: “There are now opportunities to prepare for these five days.”
It has not yet been determined whether groceries and dishes can be ordered for collection. This will be checked in the next few days, according to the head of the Senate Chancellery, Jan Pörksen.
Companies consider decisions to be unrealistic
Other companies also consider the decisions to be unrealistic.His association represents thousands of companies in the country’s important automotive, supplier and mechanical engineering industries.
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The idea that systems could simply be shut down again at short notice around Easter is naive and the mood is “about to burst”, according to the association on Tuesday after the decision. In Lower Saxony alone, an additional Maundy Thursday off work would cost the metal industry around 750 million euros in lost sales – while small businesses in particular would have their backs against the wall financially. (abu / dpa).