Stuttgart bans AfD anti-coronavirus lockdown protest due to violence fears

A large, anti-coronavirus lockdown demonstration planned by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party in the south-western German city of Stuttgart has been banned by the city council due to fears of violence.

The Stuttgarter Zeitung reports that the protest was planned for Saturday, but will now no longer be allowed to go ahead. 

The demonstration was set to feature AfD leader Alice Weidel, with organisers expecting 500 people. The protesters were to demand that all coronavirus lockdown measures be lifted. 

READ: What's the latest on coronavirus in Germany and what do I need to know?

The city said although freedom of assembly rights must be protected, fears of violence as well as the need to prioritise hygiene measures meant that the event could not go ahead. 

Mayor Martin Schairer of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) said the city was expecting “provocations, disruptions and violent clashes between participants – as well as counter demonstrations.” 

“In this case, infection protection trumps freedom of assembly”. 

READ: Germany concerned coronavirus protests may lead to radicalisation 

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass has warned citizens against getting involved in the protests, which have become a hub for far-right activists and conspiracy theorists. 

“Whoever shouts into the world without a mask, without keeping minimum distance and while only considering conspiracy theories, confuses courage with blind anger and freedom with pure selfishness,” Mass told DPA.

Stuttgart has been host to some of the largest anti-coronavirus protests in the country, with numbers reaching more than 10,000. 

Depending on the state, the maximum allowed at protests is either 50 or 80 in Germany, due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions. 


Member comments

  1. I would be interested in challenging any protester, who is against the measures of protecting lives and spreading disease selfishly to others, to go and work unprotected in a Covid-19 hospital ward (not just a couple of hours, I mean as their real job +8 hrs a day for weeks on end…).

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

Due to high Covid infection numbers throughout the summer, it’s now possible to get a sick note from a doctor over the phone again for some illnesses. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

What’s happened?

In spring 2020, German authorities changed the law so that people with a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as the common cold, were able to get an incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung by simply calling and speaking to their GP.

The rule was extended several times and finally reversed on June 1st this year due to falling infection figures. Since then people have had to go back to the practice – or do a video call if the doctor’s office has that system in place – to get a sick note.

Now, due to a decision by the Joint Federal Committee, the regulation has been reintroduced and patients can call their GP again for a sick note.

Can I get a sick note over the phone for any illness?

No. As before, the regulation only applies to patients suffering from a mild upper respiratory tract illness. Though Covid has not explicitly been named in the announcement, it seems that it is intended to be covered by the regulation.

If the doctor is convinced that the patient is unfit for work after a telephone consultation, then they can issue a sick note for up to seven days.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The changes around doctor’s notes in Germany you should know

If the symptoms persist after seven days, the certificate can be extended once more for another week.

Why now?

According to the Chairman of the G-BA, Josef Hecken, the regulation has been introduced now as a response to rising Covid numbers and in anticipation of the cold and flu season in the coming months: “We want to avoid full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and the emergence of new infection chains,” he said.

The telephone sick leave rule is a simple, proven and uniform nationwide solution for that, he said. The rule is also necessary because video consultation hours are not yet available everywhere.

What else should I know?

The health insurer DAK is calling for telephone sick leave in the case of light respiratory diseases to be made possible on a permanent basis in Germany. DAK’s CEO Andreas Storm said that this should “not always be up for debate, because it has proven itself.” 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

The social association VdK also welcomed the reintroduction of the rule. The VdK’s President Verena Bentele said that the regulation would help to protect high-risk groups in particular from potential infections.

What are the rules to know about sick notes in Germany?

Germany has a strict system in place. If you are sick, you need to give your employer a Krankmeldung (notification of sickness) before the start of work on the first day (of your illness).

However, you also need to hand in a Krankschreibung (doctor’s note) on the fourth day of your illness. Some employments contracts, however, require you to submit a sick not earlier than the fourth day so check with your boss or HR on that point.