Germany faces a renewed tightening of the lockdown | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – Given the sharp increase in the number of corona infections, people in Germany must prepare for a renewed tightening of the lockdown and the withdrawal of shelter.

On Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed to the “emergency brake” agreed by federal and state governments with a seven-day incidence of 100 or more. “And unfortunately we will also have to use this emergency brake,” she said after consulting with the prime ministers on how to proceed with the vaccination. “I would have liked to see that we could do without this emergency brake, but that is not possible when I look at the development of the past few days.”

Hamburg went ahead on Friday, announcing that it would cancel any openings next Saturday that were only made possible early last week. Merkel pointed out that the seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants across Germany is again close to 100.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said, “We are in the third wave of the pandemic, the number is increasing, the proportion of mutations is high.” The critical development cannot be stopped by vaccination alone. “All the scenarios we are currently seeing mean that the intensive care units will become very full again.” The increasing number of infections could mean that there may be no further opening steps, but “even steps back” would be necessary.

Robert Koch Institute (RKI) vice president, Lars Schaade, said, “The infection process is gaining momentum.” A deterioration in the situation around Easter, comparable to the time before Christmas, is very possible. The increase in the number of cases is real and cannot be explained by faster tests.

Nationally, the number of reported new infections per 100,000 inhabitants rose to 96 in seven days, the RKI announced Friday – on Thursday this value was 90. But there are still strong regional differences – from now 56 in Saarland to 187 in Thuringia.

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach spoke of the start of a “brilliant third wave” and demanded, “You can turn it around however you want, we have to go back to lockdown.” The sooner you respond, the shorter it should be to get back to a manageable number of cases.

Peter Tschentscher (SPD), the first mayor of Hamburg, said: “I fear that the situation will deteriorate further. We are in a strong third wave. “In the Hanseatic city, the rules before March 8 should apply again from next Saturday. Private contacts should therefore be limited to one person outside the own household. Children up to 14 years of age should not be counted.

The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), said before the renewed federal talks, “You have to expect things to be taken back and tightened up.” Given the many infections in day care centers and schools, it may also be “that we have to change something”. Thuringia Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) told the DPA: “Without following contacts and testing, I am not for opening, I am for nothing.”

The Ministers of Education of the federal states want the schools to remain open for as long as possible. At the same time, teachers in face-to-face classes should be given priority in vaccination. The Permanent Conference (KMK) agreed with this position in a resolution published Friday. For children and young people, going to school is crucial to their further educational biography, said KMK chairman Britta Ernst (SPD) from Brandenburg. Most primary schools in Germany have been teaching again since February. Most recently, depending on the country, older cohorts had returned, at least alternately. However, schools have already been closed regionally due to high corona rates.

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