The vaccination campaign in Germany is gaining momentum. The federal and state governments therefore want to allow people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or who have survived corona disease to gradually return to normal in everyday life. However, the details remained open after a federal and state vaccination summit on Monday. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) then spoke about a ‘sensitive’ question about the protection of fundamental rights, but also about the practical implementation. Thorsten Knuf answers the most important questions.
How many people have been fully vaccinated and when should the corona restrictions be lifted?
According to the Robert Koch Institute, some 25.5 million corona vaccinations have been administered in this country so far on Monday. About 23 percent of the population has received a first vaccination, about seven percent is fully vaccinated. When exactly restrictions could fall is still open. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said there is no timetable yet for a decision in the federal cabinet. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) expressed hope after the Bund-Länder summit that the issue of easing for those twice vaccinated and those recovered would be cleared up in May. “We have to answer how we deal with the fundamental rights of these people.” A corresponding regulation must be approved by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.
What relaxation is conceivable?
At the vaccination summit, federal and state governments discussed for the first time a federal government key issues paper on this topic. According to this, in a “first step” it could be stipulated that vaccinated and convalescent people are allowed to visit shops and cultural institutions without restrictions, even after an incidence of seven days out of 100 (“federal emergency brake”). It would also be possible to use body-friendly services such as a visit to the hairdresser – even without a daily corona test. Anyone who has been vaccinated or recovered and enters Germany from abroad will be treated as a traveler with a current corona test – and no longer need to be quarantined. There should be exceptions for entries from so-called virus variant areas. This is to prevent dangerous mutations from being introduced in Germany. The key issues paper also states: “In the area of contact restrictions, exceptions should also be made for vaccinated and convalescing people, especially for community facilities and nursing homes.” It is also necessary to provide for “appropriate exceptions” for exit restrictions. You can provide proof that you have been fully vaccinated by showing your vaccination certificate. In addition, electronic solutions via app are in preparation.
In the future, will vaccinated people still have to wear masks and keep their distance?
Yes. According to the paper, such measures will “continue to apply for a longer period of time” to those vaccinated, recovered and tested.
Isn’t it unfair that there are fewer restrictions on those who have been vaccinated?
In the public debate, the term ‘privileges’ for vaccinated people had at times established itself. However, those responsible at federal and state levels stress that the significant violations of fundamental rights associated with the pandemic can no longer be justified for those groups of people who could no longer become seriously ill themselves and who, according to previous knowledge, would also be less contagious in case of an infection. “Then there must be more opportunities for those who have been vaccinated,” said Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). It is completely “absurd” if someone who has been vaccinated twice still has to submit a test. However, this does not entitle you to certain openings, for example for swimming pools or museums.
Is there enough vaccine now?
Nearly 30 million doses of vaccine had been delivered to Germany by the end of last week, according to the Robert Koch Institute. The manufacturer Biontech / Pfizer accounted for more than 20 million of this. Astrazeneca shipped 6.75 million cans, Moderna 2.7 million and Johnson & Johnson 257,000. Vaccination in vaccination centers is still strictly based on priority groups. 80 million doses of vaccine will be delivered in the second quarter.
How about prioritizing vaccinations?
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) is against too rapid a lifting. In May, vaccinations must first be offered to all people in the third and last priority group, he told the TV channel “Welt”. In addition to people over 60, this also includes supermarket vendors, bus drivers and bailiffs. In Saxony, vaccinations are already offered to this group and the priority for the active ingredient from Astrazeneca has even been completely deleted here. According to Spahn, a nationwide blanket release of vaccinations for everyone could take place in June – if more vaccine comes, sooner. Merkel also confirmed that the prioritization could likely be dropped in June. “That does not mean that everyone can be vaccinated immediately,” emphasized the chancellor. But anyone can then try to get a vaccination appointment. (knuf / dpa / fp)