Countries Struggle To Relax – Spahn Urges Caution | Free press


Berlin (dpa) – After more than two weeks with the nationally applicable Corona emergency brake, the discussion about letting go and opening is becoming increasingly intense.

In terms of corona incidence, however, according to the latest daily report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 242 of the 412 districts were still above the threshold of 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days. “The feeling is better than the situation at the moment,” Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said in Berlin on Monday. While numbers rose again in the capital and an easing announcement was rejected, Bavaria announced relief for tourism. New appointments by the federal and state governments to unify the next opening steps are not planned for now.

Spahn warned that if opening steps were taken while traveling, it would have to be very test-based. It is also logical for the self-protection of holiday regions “not to endanger them from the outset with too much mobility”.

Various signals came from the countries. In Bavaria, the cabinet decided to relax the already announced tourism sector. In the case of incidence, however, after a decline in recent days, “a sideways trend” can be observed, he said. In Berlin, it was expected that the Senate could announce incidence rates below 100 opening steps. But the value rose again to 100.8 on Monday – and the reigning mayor Michael Müller (SPD) promised relaxation only from mid-next week.

The state government of Lower Saxony decided on a roadmap for relaxation – with stages for trade, tourism and social life. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) tempered hopes for relaxed corona regulations for the economy.

Spahn warned that easing measures should be taken with caution. “We slack off with significantly higher incidence than most other countries have relaxed with higher vaccination coverage.” This applies, for example, to Great Britain and Israel. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert referred to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) statements over the weekend, after which travel this summer could be as good as it was last summer.

Spahn said there was an encouraging development in new infections and intensive care units as well. “But we are still at a very, very high level.” Even in view of the nice weather, the mood rises. “Now trust shouldn’t turn into arrogance.” Seibert said there were less than 5,000 people in intensive care. But you have to be clear that “4800 is also a huge number of people fighting for their lives”.

When opened, it must be done outside, Spahn said. “The risk outside is at least 10 times lower than inside.”

According to the RKI figures published at the beginning of this week, there were 6,922 new corona infections within one day. A week ago, 9,160 new infections were counted. The number of cases reported by the RKI is usually lower on Mondays. The incidence across the country is still well above 100 – at 119.1. The day before it was slightly lower: there were 118.6 new infections within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. In the previous week it was 146.9.

Federal Economy Minister Peter Altmaier warned of a patchwork quilt at the openings. The CDU politician argued Sunday evening at ARD for coordinated measures, even if they act at different speeds, depending on the regional contamination situation. On Monday, Seibert referred to the question of whether new agreements should be made for uniform relaxation, to the rules that were already in place.

The federal emergency brake law already stipulates that the restrictions on contacts or going out in the evening expire after two days if the incidence in a neighborhood or city falls below 100 for five consecutive working days.

Seibert said that apart from the national rules, individual countries had very special rules. The next regular prime minister’s conference will take place in June. So far there are no concrete plans for an earlier meeting.

The Association of Cities and Municipalities, on the other hand, argued for a new concept. “In view of the rapid increase in vaccinations and the coming summer with many possible outdoor activities, the federal and state governments should already agree on a clear opening catalog,” general manager Gerd Landsberg told Funke media group newspapers.

The Berlin virologist Christian Drosten is currently confident in June, because in that month the vaccinations would have a noticeable effect for the first time, he said on ZDF on Sunday evening. “Summer can be quite good in Germany.”

The majority of people in the country think the corona easing is justified for those who have recovered and been vaccinated since Sunday. This is evident from a representative survey by the polling station Civey on behalf of the «Generaal-Anzeiger». Almost two thirds of those questioned (64.1 percent) therefore supported the assistance.