In response to the rapidly spreading coronavirus, Germany has enacted a general "ban on contact", effective starting today (Monday, 2020-03-23). It prohibits any gathering of more than two people in public and private spaces, except if they live in the same household.
What I am very unclear about is the extent to which certain behaviours are restricted by this regulation, as coverage in news is IMHO extremely unclear.
For instance, Berliner Morgenpost says:
Gruppen feiernder Menschen auf öffentlichen Plätzen, in Wohnungen sowie privaten Einrichtungen sind angesichts der ernsten Lage in unserem Land inakzeptabel.
Groups of partying people in public spaces, in apartments, as well as private facilities are inacceptable due to the serious situation in our country.
Gruppen feiernder Menschen - auch im Privaten - sind inakzeptabel
Groups of celebrating people - also in private - are inacceptable
And Merkur.de says:
„Gruppen feiernder Menschen sind inakzeptabel“, erklärten die Politiker unisono. Jegliche Feierlichkeiten sind untersagt, das gilt auch für Geburtstage.
"Groups of celebrating people are inacceptable.", the politicians explained in unison. Any kind of celebrations are prohibited, this includes birthdays.
Now, what does this mean? At least some of the above statements can be interpreted in such a way that it's about the physically close group aspect. That is, celebrations whose participants meet in person in the same place are prohibited.
But then, all of those statements, and definitely the last one, also sound a lot like it's the very activity of celebrating that is prohibited, presumably because the "serious situation in our country" makes such a behaviour unbecoming. Thus, it sounds like restrictions similar to the Tanzverbot (that declare various overtly joyful activities to be unbecoming and thus unlawful on certain holidays) are in place.
Which interpretation is correct?
- Am I violating the newly imposed restrictions if I meet with some of my friends (each of which is sitting at home alone, or at most with their families) via videochat and "celebrate" (whatever is meant by that, let's count any joyful or relaxing leisure activity) with them online to brace against the effects of social isolation and cabin fever?
- And does it mean we cannot let our children have a joyful videochat with their friends whom they already cannot meet in person due to the closure of schools and child nurseries?