Berlin (dpa) – Given the rapidly rising corona numbers, a new discussion has arisen about restrictions on people without vaccination. If the new infections continue to increase, they would have to cut their contacts again, said Chancellery Helge Braun (CDU) of “Bild am Sonntag”.
“This could also mean that certain offers such as restaurant, cinema and stadium visits are no longer possible, even for those who have not been vaccinated, because the residual risk is too high,” he warned. CDU boss Armin Laschet immediately put the brakes on: the proposal had to be discussed again.
Concerns about increasing numbers
Braun expressed concern about the increasing infections: “The number of new infections is increasing even faster than in the previous waves,” he said, urging citizens to vaccinate. There are two arguments for this: The vaccination protects 90 percent against serious corona disease. “And: vaccinated people will definitely have more freedom than unvaccinated people,” Braun said.
In contrast, Chancellor Laschet emphasized in the ZDF summer interview: “I do not believe in mandatory vaccinations and do not believe in indirectly pressuring people to get vaccinated.” The principle that you must either be vaccinated, tested, or rehabilitated in order to do certain things is correct. “In a free state, there are freedom rights, not just for certain groups,” Laschet emphasized.
The priority should be to convince as many citizens as possible of the vaccination. “If we see in the autumn that the vaccination rate is still far too low, I think we will have to think further. But not now,” said the CDU chief. SPD faction leader Rolf Mützenich also criticized Braun. “On the other hand, we will not change the vaccination behavior of persons facing threats,” he told the editorial network in Germany.
Kretschmann considers mandatory vaccination conceivable
The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), on the other hand, believes that mandatory vaccination is conceivable now, but not in the near future. “I cannot rule out mandatory vaccination forever,” he told the German news agency. “It is possible that there will be variants that make this necessary.”
The seven-day incidence in Germany has been rising continuously for two and a half weeks. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Sunday morning, the last time was at 13.8. For example, the health authorities reported 1387 new corona infections to the RKI within one day – a week ago the value was 1292 infections.
Spahn warns of high incidence in October
The number of infections is currently increasing by 60 percent every week, according to Braun. Unless vaccination rates improve dramatically or citizens’ behavior changes, there could be 100,000 new infections by the end of September and an incidence of 850. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had also warned of an incidence of 800 in October. Experience shows that many citizens become more cautious as the number of infections increases.
The incidence has been the basis for many restrictions in the pandemic so far. However, it is currently being discussed whether the limits should be adjusted in view of the increasing vaccination coverage – that is, more infections can be accepted if people are less severely ill on average.
Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) campaigned for new criteria. The incidence today says “much less about the risk of disease and the potential burden on the health system than it did six months ago,” she told the “Rheinische Post” (Saturday). It should be linked to the situation in the hospitals – who is admitted and who has to go to an intensive care unit. Kretschmann pointed out that high numbers of infections are always risky. “The faster the virus circulates, the more often it mutates,” he said.
With a view to the Prime Minister’s conference, which may be brought forward, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) wants to speak quickly with the Union-led countries about his plans for a school vaccination program. “That is why on Tuesday, as a precaution, I invited the prime ministers of the B countries for a switch,” he told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Monday). “In addition, we urgently need a binding formula of incidence rate, vaccination coverage and occupied hospital beds to know from when measures should be taken – and what rights ensue for vaccinated people,” said Söder. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced on Thursday that the next premier conference on the corona pandemic, which was actually planned for the end of August, would be brought forward.
Every second person in Germany is fully vaccinated
Chancellor Braun does not think a new lockdown is necessary as long as the vaccines against the Delta variant help. However, a high fourth wave would impact businesses due to mass quarantine. “And for those who have not been vaccinated, there will be mandatory tests and, if there are many infections, further tightening.” He believes this is legal because the state must keep the health system functioning.
Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) told the Funke media group papers that this would be “the introduction of mandatory vaccinations through the back door” and clearly unconstitutional. AfD faction leader Alice Weidel accused Braun of dividing society into first- and second-class citizens. According to the RKI, about every second person in Germany is currently fully vaccinated.
The virus could come back just as dangerously as it did last fall, Kretschmann warned. “If there are variants against which the vaccine is no longer as effective, we are immediately in a different situation.” Vaccination is therefore a civic duty for him. “Anyone who thinks responsibly should just do it.”