Pandemic without politics – first carefree, now haphazard?

Marco Buschman (left), Katrin Göring-Eckardt (M), and Dirk Wiese (right) on October 22nd, 2021 in Berlin

In the middle of their coalition negotiations, the SPD, Greens and FDP want to redefine the corona course in Germany with a change to the Infection Protection Act. The Bundestag debated the relevant plans today. Here are some key points:

Epidemic situation:
The prospective traffic light partners want to let the “epidemic situation of national scope” expire on November 25th – against the will of the still incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and, among others, of Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). The traffic light partners had stated that they no longer considered the pandemic emergency as a basis for corona measures to be legally secure because many people were vaccinated.

Future opportunities for the countries:
This “epidemic situation” is to be replaced by a smaller catalog of possible measures that the federal states can take. In the 44-page draft of the traffic light parties, distance requirements, mask requirements, hygiene requirements for schools or universities are also provided as options for the federal states. This also includes a possible obligation to submit proof of vaccination, recovery or test (2G or 3G) for events or restaurants, for example. According to the draft, such measures should be able to be applied until March 19, 2022. General closings of schools, shops or large-scale bans on events should no longer be possible from the end of November.

3G should come on the way in the workplace. Employees in attendance should generally have to be vaccinated, recovered or tested for Corona. The Federal Ministry of Labor is currently working on a corresponding template, which is expected to come in the ongoing legislative process. On Thursday next week, the changes to the Infection Protection Act are to be decided in parliament and the day after in the Federal Council. In addition, among other things, the free “citizen tests” are to be reintroduced from next week. A corresponding draft by the executive health minister Jens Spahn (CDU) became known on Wednesday.

Expansion of 2G:
While some have been calling for 2G nationwide in Germany for days, others reject it. 2G means that unvaccinated people are denied access to events or restaurants, for example. The regulations in the countries are very different here. In Saxony, 2G has been in effect since the beginning of the week, Berlin will follow suit on Monday, in Bavaria it is used in wide areas. Tests are sufficient elsewhere, although there are also differences there: some countries require PCR tests for certain areas, while a rapid test is sufficient elsewhere. There are also different regulations as to how old the rapid test can be.

Controls of the corona access rules:
Local associations are now warning restaurateurs and organizers. “So the restaurateurs and organizers have a duty and shouldn’t slender feet,” said the managing director of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, of the German Press Agency. The President of the German District Assembly, Richard Sager, announced increased inspections in the “Rheinische Post”. The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach said in the ARD: “That has to be strictly controlled.” For example, if a restaurant 2G does not control and attract attention, this should lead to six weeks of closure.

(Source: Ed. / Dpa / reuters / afp / ap / epd / kna)

Image source: dpa

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