Berlin (dpa) – The increasing number of corona infections has revived the long-standing debate about more restrictions on unvaccinated people. “This is not discrimination against those who have not been vaccinated,” said Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) in an interview with RTL/ntv.
He respects it when someone foregoes a vaccination for personal reasons. “But the unvaccinated person also needs to understand that we need to protect society as a whole and therefore only the vaccinated can participate in larger community events.”
However, Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht emphasized: “There will be no general mandatory vaccination, but we have to advertise that I protect myself and especially others with this vaccination.” The SPD politician said in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”: “I think we should adhere to the procedure that vaccinated, recovered and negative people have access,” Lambrecht said. “If everyone who can get vaccinated doesn’t do that, then maybe you should start thinking about whether the testing possibilities will be at their expense and not at the public’s expense.”
Intense debate about freedoms for vaccinated people
Chancellery Minister Helge Braun (CDU) had discussed possible restrictions on unvaccinated people this weekend if Germany threatened a high fourth wave. “That could also mean that certain offers such as restaurant, cinema and stadium visits are no longer possible, even for unvaccinated people who have not been tested because the residual risk is too high,” he told the “Bild am Sonntag”. On Monday, Braun explained in the “Bild” lecture that, in case the group of unvaccinated people remained so large that there was a relevant epidemic wave, they would have to be treated differently from vaccinated people in the case of disabilities. “We need to vaccinate faster than the delta wave spreads,” said the CDU politician.
Lambrecht pointed out that there was freedom of contract. That leaves a restaurateur “obviously open whether he limits the hospitality in his restaurant to, for example, vaccinated people”.
The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, advocated giving vaccinated people more freedom in everyday life. There’s no reason to withhold their basic rights from vaccinated and immune people “just because some perennial skeptics evade vaccination,” Montgomery told the Funke media group papers (Monday). It is not about privileges for vaccinated people, but about restrictions on fundamental rights.
CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt told the Welt: “Vaccinated people protect themselves and others, so normalcy is the logical consequence for this group. This normality for vaccinated people should also be possible if restrictions are needed for unvaccinated people.”
Laschet emphasizes ‘liberty rights’
Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet emphasized in the ZDF summer interview on Sunday evening: “In a free state, there are freedom rights, not just for certain groups.” The aim should be to fight the pandemic in such a way that all freedoms and fundamental rights are restored. Everything must now be done to convince people to get vaccinated. “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.”
Leftist leader Janine Wissler also opposed Braun’s advance. Threatening to discriminate against people who have not yet been vaccinated is the wrong way to go, she told the world. Especially because for many people, such as children under the age of twelve and pregnant women, there is still no vaccination recommendation from the Permanent Vaccination Committee.
Kubicki speaks of ‘mandatory vaccination through the back door’
Criticism also came from the FDP. His deputy chairman Wolfgang Kubicki described Braun’s proposal as “introducing mandatory backdoor vaccination” and “clearly unconstitutional”. FDP Secretary General Volker Wissing called for more speed in vaccination. “Instead of threatening vaccination obligations or renewed contact restrictions, those responsible should rather pull out all the stops so that the dormant vaccination campaign gets underway again,” Wissing told the Rheinische Post (Monday).
The SPD faction leader Rolf Mützenich proposed expanding the use of mobile vaccination vehicles. “If the people don’t come to the vaccination, then the vaccination has to come to the people,” he told the editorial network Germany (RND/Monday).
Ask for new decision criteria
The German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) asked the federal government to develop new decision criteria. “Massive restrictions on both society and the economy can no longer be justified with high incidents alone,” chief executive Ingrid Hartges told the Funke media group newspapers (Monday). For example, the vaccination coverage, the course of the disease, the degree of hospitalization and the death rate should be taken into account.
Dobrindt also told Die Welt that an isolated consideration of incidence was outdated. “It involves a combined trade-off of incidence, vaccination progress and burden on the health system,” the CSU politician said. “An incidence of 100 or 200 will no longer lead to a lockdown, this is not expected at values above that.”
Last weekend, several states indicated that they are ready for an early state conference. According to Brandenburg Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD), a state meeting should take place as soon as possible. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has already promised to bring forward the prime minister’s conference on the corona pandemic, which is actually not scheduled until the end of August.