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New travel restrictions in Germany October 17 2020

While not an official order as yet, Chancellor Merkl’s latest speech appealed for people not to make non-essential trips within Germany. The inference from her announcement was that should the current reduced restaurant and bar opening times and reductions in the number of people allowed to meet in groups has no effect on the spiralling Corona infection rate, further actions will be needed.

At present each state is settings its own rules which are open to misinterpretation. Those with Corona-Virus hot-spots obviously with stronger restrictions.

Although valid as exercise and with a low chance of infection, I would suggest that anyone considering a SOTA activation in Germany over the next few weeks, should consider this appeal from the chancellor seriously. Only if the infection rate increase can be controlled can businesses be allowed to stay open and people retain their jobs (I have just had a call from a friend who has just heard that she is “no longer needed” by her company because of the Corona Pandemic).


Hi Ed,

it gets more confusing by the minute. My opinion is to keep distance from people other than my own close family is essential no matter in which country and during which activities this happens. Merkel’s appeal is completely in line with appeals of our Swiss federal government, since quite a few careless people across Europe seem not to bother about any precautions, pulling all of us who try to keep the risk as low as reasonably possible, into a second wave.

Considering this advise for me as a SOTA activator means to make my choice of summits in a way that they are as unattractive as possible for the average hiker or dog walker. Fortunately, there are plenty of them around.

From a perspective of a German being resident in Switzerland with a high affinity to activating summits in Southern Germany, regulations are getting even more weird. I am currently confronted with this:

The German federal government has declared several cantons in Switzerland, including Zurich where I live, as risk areas. This means if I want to visit family in Germany, I am required to go into quarantine or have a negative PCR test done. However, the same day this regulation got into power, the government of the state of Baden-Württemberg has issued an exception for residents of areas bordering the state, which allows entry into Baden-Württemberg for up to 24 hours without that. The minute I cross the border to Bavaria, let’s say Lindau at the lake of Constance, this does not apply anymore.

While this is clearly targeted to support the economy, allowing Swiss residents to cross the border to shop 'till they drop, I still feel safer using this exemption for a SOTA activation rather than being part of the mongolian hoardes raiding grocery stores in expectation of another border closure.

73 Jens HB9EKO

Hi Ed and Jens,
Yes weird times we live in. We are just emerging from our second and most severe lockdown. The virus COVID19 will be with us forever so I expect mask wearing will be a feature of life here for a long time. Tomorrow I can travel 25 km instead of 5 km but my nearest SOTA peak is 25.7 km away. If I lived at the other end of the street it would be 24.8 km away and legal. There are two VKFF parks within 25 km so I might activate one on Wednesday as weather looks suitable. Second best but better than no portable operation. Hoping for wider travel in 3 weeks.


Hi Jens,
Even if I chose a less frequented summit, the fact is that I drive there on the roads where there are others. If this plea becomes a rule, then I could be stopped by Police to explain where I am going and why? A SOTA activation is not essential travel.

As I said this is a plea from the Chancellor at the moment not a rule. As you have experienced rules that are in force in different states are not helping as they are different from state to state.

<start of rant - my opinion only - ignore as appropriate>
The fact that this latest problem has been brought on all of us by “younger” people partying without protection, suggests to me that any actions taken should target this group as much as possible and they will need to be controlled (read arrested) if they do not conform. I agree with their wish for freedom and fun - but they will have to wait another 6 months or perhaps longer.

73 Ed.

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Even if I chose a less frequented summit, the fact is that I drive there on the roads where there are others. If this plea becomes a rule, then I could be stopped by Police to explain where I am going and why? A SOTA activation is not essential travel.

So let’s hope that it doesn’t become a rule. As long as regulations are in place that let people drive shopping and squeeze themselves into confined places only to save a few bucks, I’ll gladly use the very same rules for my SOTA activations. And if I can’t any more: My QO-100 setup for stay-at-home-periods is running since I put it together during the last lockdown, and it turns out it is a “tweak a little here, tweak a little there continuously” project… :slight_smile:

suggests to me that any actions taken should target this group as much as possible and they will need to be controlled (read arrested) if they do not conform.

I see this specific group as one of the several peer groups here who have issues with regulations and suggestions. I’d opt for group specific measures: Why not turn clubs into quarantine locations, put everyone in for 10 days who attended a superspreader event there, and play that music 24/4 @100dB:grin: - variations for individual avoidance strategies may vary, e.g. for those people who hold themselves on 1 espresso during a 1 hour train ride just to avoid having to wear a mask…

73 Jens HB9EKO

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Remember half of the population is below average intelligence. This means it takes longer for them “to get it” when it’s not visible or hurting. Some are too far down the IQ scale to be able to tie their shoes let alone cope with virus restrictions.

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below median intelligence.


Maybe. I have on my desk a book written by H.J. Eysenck and published in 1962. In it he states that " the 100 mark is, of course, by definition, the average of the population." That’s good enough for me as he devised most of the standard tests of that era. His later work where he linked genetics to IQ were considered PI in recent times yet others are still publishing on differences in intelligence between races. The Chinese for example in these studies do better than Australians by 7 points. That I find plausible based on decades of lecturing and examining adults from both groups.


No idea how things are going with you…

…but in my SOTA activities I am almost always alone. This means that I drive alone to the mountain, walk alone to the summit and if someone is at the top, I sit offside and put on my headphones… and everything still in the open air.

I find the risk of infection with SOTA quite low.

I do not believe we will be restricted in our freedom of movement in Germany.

73 Armin

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Hi Armin,
It depends on the area. Berchtesgadener Land has some very severe travel restrictions in place - as of 2pm tomorrow, the inhabitants are only allowed to leave their houses for important reasons…

My neighbouring area of Ost Allgäu have also increased restrictions.

<Semi-political opinion follows - ignore if you wish>
The biggest problem is there are different rules in different places and that causes confusion. We need Söder (as he did during the first wave) to stand up again and tell the whole country what they should do (including the “lower 50%”) clearly and without confusion. Allowing regional control is not working.

But ruling Nationwide doesn’t work either. The situation in big capital cities like Madrid, Rome, Lisbonne, Berlin, Paris, London is not comparable at all with that in small villages like for instance the one where I own a house (although I’m not living in it right now) with a population of less than 350 people.
There’s not an easy way to tackle this problem.
Our autonomous comunity, Navarra EA2/NV, will get locked this week too.
Fortunately, there are a good number of SOTA summits within this territory, although I’m not yet sure if we will be allowed to travel ourselves inside Navarra. We’ll see…


We’ll see if these “fire-brick” as it’s being called in Wales, solutions of a short-period lockdown of 7 or 14 days in limited “hot spot” areas work. The problems come of course at the end of the period and open things up again, if people don’t take the necessary precautions you’re soon back at the starting point!

Anyway, this is getting too much about governments and less about SOTA.

I hope you are able to get out to some summits despite the lockdown in EA2/NV Guru.

73 Ed.

7 days is too short, in most people infected, symptoms appear in 5-12 days. If you haven’t developed symptoms after 14days away from mixing with people you are extremely unlikely to do so.

The false equivalence is that half the population would be above that or below that, viz:

IQ 1: 70, IQ 2: 70, IQ 3: 80, IQ 4: 180 = Average of population is 100, but 3 are below the average and 1 is above. Median intelligence is 75, half are above that, half are below it.

Oh come on Andrew.
Sample size, sample size, sample size. Even for a truely normal distribution a sample size of 100 isn’t enough if you want to get picky with the numbers. Are you telling me you know more than Eysenck did about IQ statistics?

Look up the Flynn effect. The best you can hope for is that an IQ of 100 is average at a particular point in time. Variance changes enough over short periods of time (and even test-retest variation within existing samples) that the point about median intelligence and average intelligence not being the same thing is true. IQs in some regions increase at a rate of 3 points a decade.

Eysenck’s statement, more precisely, is, “The IQ of 100 is the average score of a test sample of the population, assumed to be normally distributed, taken at that particular point in time.” His statement is not, “Half the population have below average intelligence”.

Of course, there’s been a lot of research into the relative validity of IQ as a measure of intelligence since 1962 that throws more doubt into the statement that having a 50% probability of an IQ less than 100 means that you have half the population having below average intelligence. Factors including cultural differences and the type of tests used can result in sections of the population performing poorly on tests and receiving low IQ scores in some circumstances, and needs to be corrected and accounted for using rigorous statistic methods.

Accounting for all flavours of intelligence in a single score also yields challenges. If a person can’t resolve which comes next in a sequence of squares but can write an exquisite symphony or paint a masterpiece are they more or less intelligent than an individual who can work out the sequence but can barely play Mary Had A Little Lamb or draw more than a stick figure?

So I stick to my original statement: half the population is below median intelligence, however you choose to define intelligence. Still, could be worse - instead of IQ we could be talking about Meyers-Briggs which has almost no basis in science or statistics.

Agreed. It was the BBC talking about the Welsh lockdown, who said 7-14 days - the Berchtesgadener Land lockdown is a minimum of 3 weeks.