Germany Bans Public Gatherings of More Than TWO People

Germany is set to implement the most stringent social distancing policy in the midst of the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, preparing to ban gatherings of more than TWO people.

The policy would in fact prevent people more congregating in more than a pair.

North Rhine-Westphalia state premier Armin Laschet announced the policy in conjunction with the nation’s federal government on Sunday. He cited the danger of “direct social interaction,” explaining that the state and federal governments had agreed upon the rule.

People who live in the same households are exempt from the rule, avoiding an Orwellian situation in which people would be banned from living with their relatives in their own homes.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is known as a reliable liberal authoritarian, having taken a decisive stance against the western conception of free speech months ago. Social distancing policies aren’t too much to ask of citizens in the age of the global pandemic, but it’s unclear how a ban on gatherings of more than 2 people is even going to be plausibly enforced.

The German chancellor herself went on to enter quarantine hours after she endorsed the gatherings-of-two restriction Sunday morning, having been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus.

It seems it would be more realistic and honest for the German government to adopt measures seen in Italy, where more than 16 million people have been forcibly quarantined in their homes. Such an approach would probably obtain the desired results of the social distancing rules without imposing restrictions on gatherings of more than two people.

If you’re going to let people appear in public, it’s probably impossible to prevent them from gathering in more than a pair. The Center for Disease Control has issued guidelines requesting Americans cease to gather in groups of more than ten people, a figure far easier to regulate.