Government is considering an earlier corona top – new requirements could include FFP2 mask requirements, as in Bavaria
The federal government is concerned about the explosive spread of the mutated virus variant in Ireland and is preparing new protective measures. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) described the situation on the island, where the contamination rate has increased tenfold since the beginning of the year, as “dramatic” and “devastating” according to participants in the Union fraction on Tuesday. If the more easily transferable variant were to spread more widely in Germany, the reproduction ratio would increase by 0.3 to 0.4 points. This means that even greater restrictions are needed to reduce the number of cases. Merkel spoke of the difficult weeks ahead of the country: “We are in rough seas.”
“The mutation of the virus in Great Britain and Ireland is of great concern to us,” said Union Group Chairman Ralph Brinkhaus. To skip to Germany, which should avoid tougher access rules, “we must be prepared”. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, the South African variant of the virus was first discovered in Baden-Württemberg on Tuesday – in a family that arrived on December 13. The federal cabinet wants to establish its own regulations for the first time on Wednesday for entry from “mutation areas”.
In Berlin it was learned on Tuesday that the federal government is considering an early corona summit with state prime ministers to tighten the measures again. So far, the next meeting is scheduled for January 25. In the opinion of the government, it should come sooner to further restrict private contacts, let employees work from home and reduce the risk of contamination in local public transport. It is also discussed that certain containment measures should not only be taken when there are more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week, but rather generally.
To reduce the risk of infection in Bavaria, wearing FFP2 masks on buses and trains and when shopping next Monday will be mandatory. Subsequently, there was a lot of criticism of the measure in social networks because no general discounts are foreseen for the considerably more expensive masks. These are only available to citizens aged 60 and over.
New access rules
The federal government wants to require travelers from areas with a particularly high number of corona infections to get tested before arriving in Germany. This is evident from a draft for a new regulation that the federal cabinet will ultimately decide on Wednesday. According to the draft, the obligation to have the corona test performed abroad should also apply to people who have stayed in an area where a highly contagious mutation of the corona virus is circulating. In either case, travelers would be required to provide the test certificate to airlines and other transport companies before embarking on their journey. Those who cannot take a test will not be allowed to participate. Exceptions include truck drivers
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