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Mum shoots daughter over Aussie holiday plan

A woman from Düsseldorf who shot her daughter multiple times before ending her own life this week was trying to stop the teen travelling to Australia, it emerged on Wednesday.

Mum shoots daughter over Aussie holiday plan
Photo: DPA

At around noon on Monday, an apartment block in the normally peaceful town of Alt-Heerdt in Düsseldorf echoed with the sound of gunfire.

An argument between a mother and her 18-year-old daughter had escalated rapidly before the 44-year-old woman had allegedly reached for a weapon.

She then reportedly shot the teen five to six times, with a small-calibre target pistol.

With life-threatening injuries, the teenager dragged herself out of the second-floor apartment and onto the street, where a nearby construction worker gave her first aid and notified emergency services.

Meanwhile, the mother barricaded herself in the apartment.

By the time police officers got to the scene, the 44-year-old was in critical condition.

After locking herself in the apartment, she had shot herself in the head.

Both mother and daughter were rushed to hospital, where the older woman later died of her injuries.

The daughter remains in intensive care, but is “on the road to recovery”, police said on Tuesday.

A member of the Düsseldorf Shooting Club, the 44-year-old has competed in nationwide competitions, reports Bild.

She owned a valid gun license allowing her to keep the weapon at home.

Argument was about Australia visit

“The argument centred around a long-term visit abroad that the daughter had planned, and which she planned to set off on that day,” a police spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old supposedly wanted to travel to Australia, Bild reports.

“A family drama like this doesn't arise out of nothing,” criminal psychologist Rudolf Egg told Bild. “Things must have been building up for a while.”

The trip abroad was likely the tipping point for the mother, Egg explained.

“Great closeness, affection and love can turn instantly to hatred, anger and violent outbursts,” he continued.

“Time and time again, we see that the people we love the most are also the ones we can hate the most.”

FAMILY

Reader question: Who can look after my children while they quarantine in Germany?

Under the latest German travel rules, vaccinated people are exempt from quarantine when returning from holidays abroad - but their unvaccinated children may not be. Here's who's allowed to take care of them.

Reader question: Who can look after my children while they quarantine in Germany?
Looking after children in quarantine can be tricky for working parents. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Germany’s new travel rules, which came into force on August 1st, were in many ways intended to make it easier for families to go on foreign holidays. 

While previously all children over the age of six had to submit a negative test or proof of recovery from Covid when flying into a Germany, now only children aged 12 and over have to show a negative test (or proof of vaccination and recovery) on their return.

READ ALSO: Germany to require Covid tests for all unvaccinated travellers arriving by ‘plane, car or train’

That essentially means that only children who are legally able to get vaccinated fall under the scope of the new rules when returning from abroad – so families whose kids are too young to get a jab won’t have to pay for tests for them.

Of course, in a global pandemic things are never quite that simple: under the latest rules, some families may still run into problems when returning from a high-risk or virus variant areas. If all the adults are vaccinated, they won’t have to quarantine, but unvaccinated children will face anywhere from five days (for a high-risks area) to two weeks (for a virus variant area) confined at home. 

Here’s what you can do if your children are in quarantine but you’re not – and you need a third-party to help look after them. 

Can grandparents or a babysitter come round to help out? 

In general, visitors aren’t allowed to enter the house during quarantine, the Federal Health Ministry told regional radio station BR24. If several people are allowed to pay visits and then leave again, it would be much harder to control the spread of the virus – which is, of course, the whole aim of self-isolation.

However, there are exceptions to this if there is a “good cause” for the visitors to be there, the ministry explained. This could mean, for example, that a carer could come into to check on an elderly resident in quarantine, or that a babysitter could come to look after the children in urgent situations.

Be aware, though, that even a “good cause” doesn’t give you a free pass to invite a rotating cast of babysitters and neighbours round to your home. Social contact should still be limited as much as possible, so it’s best to stick to a regular babysitter or relatives such as grandparents, who can come round regularly over the course of one or two weeks while your children are in quarantine. 

Can the children quarantine at someone else’s house? 

According to the Ministry for Health, that can be worked out on a case-by-case basis – and specific rules may vary depending on where you live.

READ ALSO:

The best thing to do is to contact your local health authority and ask them for advice on your situation. They’ll be able to advise you directly on whether, for example, the children’s grandparents or another relative can pick them up from the airport and take them to stay with them for the duration of the quarantine.

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