Many self-employed and companies had to stop their business due to the Corona crisis. From the yoga studio to the jeweler to the copy shop – the doors are currently locked.

Again and again one can read the term “systemically relevant” in this context. In some places this leads to confusion: why is the bicycle shop open, but the flower shop next door not? And why is there one thing in Lower Saxony and something completely different in Berlin or Bavaria?

We summarize the current situation – and show why it is not so easy to keep an overview.

Who is “relevant” to the system?

The term “systemically important” is known primarily in relation to the financial industry. If bankruptcy threatens a large bank, there is a risk that many businesses and private individuals will lose their capital as well. The bank is systemically important, “too big to fail”, and bankruptcy would result in a devastating chain reaction.

In times of the Corona crisis, however, it is not primarily about an economic system relevance, but one Relevance to society. In other words, the companies, professional groups and companies that ensure the supply of the citizens must remain on duty.

These industries ensure the supply

Everyone immediately comes up with some professional groups that make our daily life possible and often perform admirably in times of the corona crisis. Doctors, nurses, police officers, food vendors – the list could easily be continued.

If you want to know more, you can find more information in the “Ordinance on the Determination of Critical Infrastructures by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. This includes sectors such as water supply, healthcare or local public transport.

Who can still have open

So it is clear that police officers, supermarket sellers and nurses continue to work. But car rental companies? Bike shops? Hardware stores?

Admittedly, a system cannot always be recognized behind the system relevance at first glance. It is not always easy for the state either.

An example: The state of Bavaria has drawn up a so-called positive list, which summarizes which companies may continue to be open. Among other things, it states that companies from the hunting supplies trade may continue to open. The reason: “Care is necessary to fight animal diseases.”

Another example are auto repair shops or bicycle shops. These companies may be open in many federal states because they maintain people’s mobility through repairs. Cars or bicycles to sell However, they are not allowed to do so, since business as such must remain closed.

You see, in many cases it is initially not obvious why certain companies are allowed to continue working – often it is about detailed questions.

System relevant or not? Arrives in the country …

Another reason why it is difficult to keep an overview: The federal states’ approach to the systemic relevance of certain industries is very different.

A much discussed example is hardware stores that have been overrun by customers in the past few days. Some countries such as Bavaria, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony have reacted and closed DIY stores to protect against infection chains for end users.

In other countries, Bauhaus, Obi and Co. are still open. People with a trade license should also be allowed to shop at the hardware store so that they can do their business. Because hardware stores also cover the basic requirements, for example when it comes to procuring materials to repair a pipe break.

Parents are currently only entitled to childcare if they work in systemically relevant professions. Thus, it currently differs from state to state, who is allowed to bring his child to daycare.

System-relevant is not always system-relevant

To summarize: If there were to be a complete curfew in UKy, significantly more companies would have to close temporarily than currently. In extreme cases, only the companies and professional groups that are necessary for basic services would really continue to work.

At the moment, the definition of “systemically important” is still relaxed. And there remains hope that the Corona crisis can be overcome quickly – so that we can all soon go about our jobs and our passion again every day.