“Federal emergency brake” kicks in – criticism from states and municipalities | Free press


Berlin (dpa) – In the fight against the third wave of corona, an “emergency brake” with stricter uniform restrictions will apply from next Saturday in many parts of Germany.

At the start of the new regulations for regions with a very high contamination rate, the federal government asked citizens not to have any contact – extensive nighttime exit restrictions should also contribute to this. ‘It’s hard, it’s hard, each one of us. But that is necessary for a transition period, ”said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) Friday. There was criticism from the federal states and municipalities about the feasibility.

The emergency brake will automatically apply from Saturday for all neighborhoods and cities where a seven-day incidence of 100 was exceeded last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The value indicates how many new infections there were per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. In the national average, this has now risen to 164, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday. According to Thursday’s RKI situation report, 345 of the 412 districts recorded a seven-day incidence of more than 100 – the emergency brake only needs to be applied if this is the case for three consecutive days.

The new regulations published in the Federal Law Gazette on Thursday had been sealed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in an expedited procedure. In municipalities where the emergency brake applies, people are generally not allowed to leave the home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Only walking and jogging is allowed until midnight. A maximum of one household can meet one other person, with the exception of children up to 14 years old. Stores may only be open to customers who have submitted a negative corona test and made an appointment. Face-to-face education in schools usually has to be discontinued at an incidence of 165.

The emergency brake, which went into effect from midnight on Saturday night, affects not only staying in one place, but also travel from A to B, according to the federal interior ministry. If you want to travel to tourism between 10pm and 5am, you’d better reschedule. Business air travel is possible due to the foreseen exceptions. Police or regulatory officials should, in individual cases, decide in their sole discretion and common sense whether to provide a credible reason why someone is traveling. “When a master baker visits his work in the middle of the night, you understand that very quickly,” said a spokesman.

The regulation contains a number of exceptions. Going out at night is also permitted, for example to exercise a profession, exercise authority or in medical emergencies involving humans and animals. In such cases, the car or train can also be used, explains vice government spokeswoman Martina Fietz. “The truck driver is of course allowed to transport his goods and the grandson can take his sick grandmother to the hospital.”

The background to the currently uniform national requirements is the persistent tense corona situation. RKI Vice President Lars Schaade said: “The number of cases does not seem to be increasing that fast at the moment.” The effect could have something to do with reduced mobility during Easter, according to the data many people did not travel. “With that you have all slowed down the virus a bit.” In the meantime, however, mobility has increased and there is a risk that the number of cases will rise again. “So it’s too early to release everything.” Every week in Germany 1000 people die from Covid-19. In hospitals the number increased, especially among the 35 to 59 year olds.

The district assembly chairman Reinhard Sager told the “Rheinische Post”, “The federal emergency brake is not the useful tool it is supposed to be.” The countries’ capabilities would be limited to respond precisely to on-site contamination cases. The regulatory situation is becoming “even more confusing”. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) told the newspaper that the law did not keep what Chancellor Angela Merkel had promised. She criticized the fact that if the incidence value was above 100 for three days and below this limit after five days, the rules changed. “For example, this can lead to constant back and forth when it comes to exit restrictions.”

Spahn countered the fear of a rapid back and forth at school, depending on the contamination situation above or below the value of 165. “The district must always be above the value for a number of days in a row and then every day at least five days behind. each other underneath. ” It follows that this does not fluctuate on a daily basis. The states and municipalities also have room for maneuver. “It’s an emergency brake. I do not recommend always waiting for the emergency brake release before taking any action. “Exit restrictions have also been in the toolkit since the beginning of March following a decision by the federal state.