Berlin (dpa) – Following the latest corona talks by the federal and state governments, the implementation of central resolutions is still open.
This is especially true of the plan to declare Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday as “days of rest” once, in order to close public, economic and private life more strongly than ever at Easter during the pandemic. The federal states expect the Federal Ministry of the Interior to quickly provide a legal basis and adequate justification. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) answers questions from members of the Bundestag in the government poll on Wednesday afternoon.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE EASTER RELEASE?
Five days of downtime: This time is far too short to drastically reduce the number of new infections. All experts agree on this. But that’s not the point, says Prime Minister Stephan Weil of Lower Saxony. “What we want is to break the momentum of the infections right now,” stressed the SPD politician at ZDF. Only if the steep rise is stopped can one enter a new phase of pandemic control after Easter with the help of more tests. “Then let’s try to bring together freedom and security,” Weil said.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A “REST DAY”?
This has not yet been precisely defined. The term was surprisingly put into play during the marathon talks by Merkel and the Prime Minister early Tuesday morning. One thing is clear: the federal and state governments want Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday to be treated as holidays this time. But regulation of the holiday law is difficult because it would have to be decided by all federal states. Time is too short for that. Instead, the Federal Home Office should now create a legal basis. According to the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann, the federal government wants to draw up a model regulation based on the Infection Protection Act.
WHERE ARE THE PROBLEMS?
So far, many questions have only been raised in the short time available. In principle, all stores should remain closed from April 1 to April 5, only “food retailers in the strict sense” are allowed to open on Holy Saturday. Many supermarkets therefore expect a rush from customers. It is still unclear whether weekly markets – like many other things – will also be allowed to open. For example, the consequences for employees and employers: are employees entitled to bonuses and free time if they work on ‘rest days’? How do you ensure supply chains if there is suddenly two days of downtime? What about scheduled doctor visits? And last but not least: is it ensured that social security benefits are paid in time if the first day of the month falls on Maundy Thursday and the short ‘rest day’ becomes?
HOW DOES THE ECONOMY RESPOND?
Pretty dumbfounded. The auto industry has already raised the alarm. “Sudden shutdowns are not feasible for an internationally networked economy,” Hildegard Müller, president of the Association of the Automotive Industry, said Tuesday evening after an “auto-summit” with Merkel that addressed topics such as the EU’s climate goals. . “Coating plants and energy centers and much more cannot simply be shut down on request.” But there are also logistical challenges, for example you need a driver’s license for holidays and emergency systems must be ready for use. The industry expects sensible and enforceable regulations aimed at corporate activities, which must also be implemented in a legally safe manner. The association welcomes the need to set up a “task force”.
WHAT COMES AFTER THE VACCINATIONS?
A number of countries want to keep vaccination centers open during Easter and continue vaccinations against Covid-19. The Federal Ministry of Health expects vaccine deliveries to increase significantly after Easter. According to a forecast by the ministry, up to 15.3 million doses of vaccine could be added from April 5 to May 1, of which more than 10 million from Biontech / Pfizer. This could mean that the vaccination campaign can get going significantly. However, the ministry emphatically points out that the figures are based on forecasts and are full of uncertainties.