Free tests against the fourth wave

VAgainst the background of the sharp rise in the number of corona infections, the talks between the still executive and the emerging government in Berlin took place on Monday. And that on two levels. On the one hand, it was about the draft of a reorganization of the Infection Protection Act. In parallel, the Union, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP were forced to discuss additional steps in view of the skyrocketing numbers – a booster, so to speak, with the help of which the increase in numbers can be slowed down and the pandemic development can be traced even more precisely than it is so far is the case. The new version of the law is to be submitted to parliament for a vote next Thursday. The FAZ has the draft of the SPD, Greens and FDP.

Reinhard Bingener

Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.

Julian Staib

Political correspondent for Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland based in Wiesbaden.

According to the draft, the Bundestag should not extend the Corona emergency, officially called “epidemic situation of national scope”. This expires after November 25th, so that parliament has to find a follow-up arrangement before a new government meets in December. The planned traffic light coalition, which has a majority in the Bundestag, does not want to prolong the emergency, and it wants to soften the Infection Protection Act so that assembly bans, lockdowns with business and company closings and other serious interventions and restrictions are no longer possible.

Distance, hygiene or mask rules should still be able to apply, as well as requirements for the submission of vaccination, test or recovery certificates. And nationwide, but regardless of the declaration of emergency. The period of validity is limited until the beginning of spring on March 20th. What is also new is that these “less intensive measures” no longer have to be decided by the state parliaments. “Some special corona rules continue to apply, such as the payment of children’s sickness benefits, simplified access to minimum income or the Sars-CoV-2 occupational health and safety ordinance.

In the conversations that were not related to the amendment, it became apparent on Monday that there could soon be free corona rapid tests for everyone again. The acting Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) spoke out in favor of it on Monday. He also had his spokesman confirmed that appropriate talks were taking place between representatives of the executive federal government and representatives of the traffic light parties.

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