Further urgent applications against corona emergency brake rejected | Free press


Karlsruhe (dpa) – The federal corona emergency brake continues to withstand investigation by the Federal Constitutional Court.

On Thursday, the judges rejected further urgent motions, not even accepting a constitutional complaint for decision. It was about contact restrictions and the closure of schools, cultural institutions and parts of the retail trade. The general tenor: the risk of infection and thus the health hazards of countless people outweigh the consequences of the interventions.

The court in Karlsruhe has announced whether the individual provisions are compatible with the Basic Law, should be clarified in the main proceedings. Just over two weeks ago, the judges had already given the green light to the controversial overnight travel restrictions – also in urgent proceedings.

On April 23, the nationally binding rules for stricter corona measures came into effect. They apply to regions where the so-called seven-day incidence exceeds 100 for several days.

In practice, however, the emergency brake is currently increasingly being released: Because the incidence has been declining for days, it was only 68.0 nationally on Thursday according to the Robert Koch Institute (last week: 103.6). In most of the 412 registered provinces and boroughs, the value has now fallen below 100.

In the fight against the third wave of corona, politicians wanted to prevent a patchwork quilt in the federal states with uniform regulations throughout Germany and to control the spread of the corona virus. In regions where the emergency brake applies, there are, for example, restrictions on trade if basic services are not served, and stricter rules for contact with people from other households. The constitutional judges decided on this as follows:

CONTACTS: The complainant had not stated, and it was not even clear that the contact restriction threatened to cause harm to vaccinated and convalescent people, despite the currently applicable exceptions, which would require the issuing of a preliminary injunction. “In any case, meeting older relatives is usually no longer insurmountably limited because of their ability to receive vaccinations,” he said. Children up to 14 years of age from two households who meet are also excluded. “In particular, this makes it easier to organize daily life in families, even if they cannot yet benefit from the exemption for vaccinated and convalescing persons.” On the other hand, the limitations are part of the overall concept of controlling the infection process, as alternate meetings increase the risk of infection.

RETAIL: Several companies wanted the Constitutional Court to suspend restrictions for the time being. However, the hurdles are particularly high for such significant interference in the jurisdiction of the legislature, the court explained. On the one hand, there are sales losses, especially in the apparel, footwear and electronics markets, “ partially mitigated by online retailing, after registration or with a previous negative test for infection, or by bridging state support and the possibility of short-time working, but not caught ยป. But “protecting life and health from infection with a virus that often causes serious and long-term illness or even death” is more important.

SCHOOLS: In counties or cities with an incidence of more than 165 days per week, face-to-face teaching in schools should be banned. An application against this rule has been rejected because, according to the court, the applicant’s school is located in a neighborhood that is stable below this threshold.

CULTURE: Several plaintiffs had lodged a constitutional complaint against the ban on the opening of cultural institutions – as it is rightly called. However, from the judges’ point of view, they have not shown that restrictions on artistic events are unnecessary if the number of infections persists. The court explained that artistic freedom was guaranteed in the Basic Law, but not without restrictions. “The obstacles stem in particular from the fundamental rights of other legal entities (…).”

The studies presented referred to lower incidence rates and were not related to realistic scenarios. In addition, artistic content can be distributed through streaming or download offers. The jury also referred to the declining incidence rates and improved outlook, at least for outdoor events, in summer conditions.

Germany’s highest constitutional court has now brought about 400 proceedings against the tightened infection protection law. Some are directed against the entire package of measures, others against individual points. Among the plaintiffs are lawyers, but also politicians from different parties, for example from the Bundestag.