Berlin (dpa) – In the fight to make it easier for vaccinated people in the face of everyday corona restrictions, the federal government is coming under increasing pressure.
Federal Council Chairman Reiner Haseloff (CDU) brought into play Wednesday that demands will be sealed in the coming week rather than the end of May, as previously planned. The Association of Cities and Municipalities called for clarity throughout the country in view of the first regulations in some federal states. From the City Council’s point of view, central and easily manageable areas of life and summer vacation opportunities should be central to lightening business. More than 20 million German citizens have now received at least one vaccination.
Haseloff, the Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, told Handelsblatt it would be best if the federal government presented a regulation this week. “We can pass the ordinance in parallel proceedings by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in the coming week.” The regional chamber could decide on May 7 at its next regular meeting. “However, a special meeting would also be possible at any time before or shortly after this date.” So far, the federal government plans for the cabinet to launch the plans next week and for the Bundesrat to make a final decision after the Bundestag on May 28.
The federal government wants to speed up the regulatory procedure. “Even before the referral in the cabinet, an agreement must be reached with the Bundestag and the states,” a government spokesman said on Wednesday when asked. The background to this is that a regulation is not introduced as a law in parliament. The Bundestag can only impose requirements on the government that drafts it, which should then include it in the ordinance. To avoid this back and forth, it must be coordinated in advance.
As Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced on Monday, they are working to file a regulation as soon as possible, the government spokesman said. Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) said in the ARD: “I will immediately, as soon as possible, present a regulation that specifies exactly that fundamental rights are no longer restricted when there is no longer any danger.”
According to a key government document, fully vaccinated and convalescing people can be given the same exceptions for access to shops and services such as hairdressers that currently apply to those who are currently negative. When entering from abroad, the quarantine can in most cases be omitted. People who have recovered should therefore be regarded as “able to show a positive PCR test result from at least 28 days”. This applies up to six months after recovery has been established, as adequate immune protection can be assumed for such a long time.
Several states have had regulations for vaccinated people or plan to do so for weeks. In Bavaria, they have been on par with those who tested negative since Wednesday. Regulations already exist in Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Brandenburg, Berlin, Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony. Saxony and Thuringia are planning this. North Rhine-Westphalia wants to follow the uniform guidelines, as Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) made clear in the state parliament: “It is good that we are working in coordination with the federal government and the states.”
Across the country, 20.5 million people have now been vaccinated at least once – nearly a quarter (24.7 percent) of all residents. According to the Federal Department of Health, 6.1 million citizens (7.4 percent of the population) are now fully vaccinated with two syringes.
The Association of Cities and Municipalities demanded uniform rules. “After the national emergency brake has just been introduced, the states are now going their separate ways again,” said General Manager Gerd Landsberg of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. That is “dangerous for popular acceptance”. In general, the accusation could arise that restrictions would move very quickly and that easing, which is constitutionally required, would take some time until the end of May.
FDP Group Chairman Stephan Thomae told the German news agency that while the Union and the SPD were in a hurry to make changes to the Infection Protection Act, the government is now taking a lot of time to formulate exceptions to curfews and contact restrictions for vaccinated and convalescing people by ordinance.
The Cities Association is promoting gradual relief for vaccinated people as soon as vaccinations are possible for everyone. President Burkhard Jung (SPD) said, “With such relaxation, we should also create incentives to encourage more people to get vaccinated.” The current vaccination series with priority for high-risk groups should end in June. Jung said to avoid dividing society into vaccinated and unvaccinated people. “Therefore, those who have been vaccinated, those who have recovered and those who test negative on the day should be treated equally. Tested with certified tests should also be given more freedom. “