Wave of infections: mandatory vaccination, free tests? – Traffic light parties are planning new rules

Return to free corona tests for everyone, compulsory vaccination for certain occupational groups, stronger restrictions for unvaccinated people: In view of the steep rise in the corona numbers, politicians and experts in Germany are calling for quick decisions. With this they want to break the fourth wave of the pandemic.

The potential government partners SPD, Greens and FDP want to create a new legal basis for anti-corona rules before the epidemic ends on November 25th. The Bundestag should discuss the draft on Thursday, as it was called on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the number of infected people continues to rise. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week on Sunday morning at 191.5. The previous day the incidence was 183.7, a week ago it was 149.4. On Friday, the number of new infections had reached 37,120, a record since the beginning of the pandemic.

Demand to return to free citizen tests

In view of the force of the fourth wave, more and more politicians and doctors are calling for free corona tests to be offered to everyone again. The President of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, reported in the newspapers of the Funke media group that the end of the reimbursement of costs for citizen tests did not lead to motivating those unwilling to vaccinate to vaccinate. The federal and state governments should correct this “wrong decision” quickly – “if possible with the amendment of the Infection Protection Act in mid-November”.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), Greens boss Robert Habeck and representatives of doctors, municipalities and retailers had previously called for the return to free tests. NRW Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst demands free corona tests for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. “The high numbers of infections among unvaccinated people lead to more and more breakthroughs among those who have been vaccinated,” said the CDU politician of “Bild am Sonntag”.

Since October 11th, corona rapid tests have only been free in exceptional cases. The federal government has stopped funding. This was justified by the fact that everyone now has the opportunity to protect themselves through a vaccination. Many test stations were closed as a result. Eugen Brysch, board member of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, said: “Abolishing the free tests was one of the stupidest decisions.”

Unvaccinated Restrictions – 2G Rules Debate

Saxony and Thuringia are still particularly hard hit by the pandemic. In Saxony, the weekly incidence on Sunday was 444 according to the RKI. Because of the tense situation, the 2G rule will apply in large parts of public life from this Monday. Only those who have recovered and who have been vaccinated will then have access to indoor restaurants, discos, and leisure and cultural facilities.

Stricter rules have been in place in Bavaria since Sunday. The reason is the high number of occupied intensive care beds. In the Free State, only those who have been vaccinated, those who have recovered and people with a negative PCR test have access to inns and events in closed rooms. In addition, an FFP2 mask must generally be worn again.

The virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit warned against overestimating the effect of 2G rules. You would give a “sham security”, he said on Deutschlandfunk. Vaccinated people could also become infected and transmit the virus, even if the probability is lower. If you really want security, only 1G can help – that is, to test all of them, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, unvaccinated or recovered.

Who decides now?

CSU boss Söder, Hesse’s head of government Volker Bouffier (CDU) and other Union politicians have been calling for a federal-state meeting for days to discuss further steps to contain the pandemic. They accuse the traffic light parties of inaction, mainly because the epidemic of national importance is set to end on November 25th.

Despite the increasingly critical situation, the SPD, Greens and FDP do not think so at the moment. FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing told the “Handelsblatt”: “The Bundestag must make decisions, not the Prime Minister’s Conference.” The parliamentary groups said on Sunday that the draft law is still being worked on.

There should be no business closings

According to the information, the three possible coalition partners want to include new regulations on the test offer. In addition, the traffic light parties are probably working on measures to prevent fraud with falsified vaccination certificates. There is no talk of nationwide exit restrictions and temporary business closings like last year. The traffic light partners also want to forego a nationwide 2G rule.

As the “Bild am Sonntag” reported, citing negotiating circles, the SPD, Greens and FDP are considering, among other things, a daily test obligation for employees and visitors in nursing homes, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or recovered. In addition, the corona premium could be reactivated for clinics that keep part of their intensive care beds free for corona patients. In order to speed up the booster vaccinations in the elderly, doctors should be obliged to write to their elderly patients.

Corona situation should not be extended

On November 25, the special status of the epidemic situation of national scope expires. The outgoing Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), like the possible new government partners, had spoken out in favor of no longer extending the classification as the basis for extensive corona restrictions.

Spahn said on Sunday: “Our resolutions by the federal and state health ministers on Friday and today’s proposals by the traffic light negotiators on the current pandemic situation are congruent. That is good, because a uniform approach by all those responsible increases the so important acceptance and thus participation in the population. “

Who may need to be vaccinated?

The federal government has emphasized several times that there should be no compulsory vaccination. The possible traffic light partners also want to leave it at that. The Marburger Bund, however, requires that certain professional groups be vaccinated. “The obligation to vaccinate against the coronavirus should apply to people who work in medical facilities, old people’s and nursing homes as well as schools and day-care centers,” said a resolution of the general meeting.

The President of the German District Assembly, Reinhard Sager, affirmed that it is necessary for nursing staff to be vaccinated because appeals and arguments have so far not been able to achieve a sufficient vaccination rate. “We do not expect a wave of layoffs among the nursing staff,” if this obligation should be introduced, he told the German press agency. (dpa)

Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by www.ksta.de.

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