Vaccinations, tests, new rules: struggling with corona strategy | free press

Berlin (dpa) – Before Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) meets with the Prime Minister next Tuesday, a number of concrete principles for the course against a fourth major contagion wave in autumn and winter are in view.

These include: more momentum for vaccinations, an early end to free tests for all, possible new warning criteria for the corona situation.

The hospitality industry and commerce called on federal and state governments to avoid another hard shutdown with closures across the board. Discussions continued about limiting possible new restrictions to unvaccinated people in the first place.

The federal government confirmed it was “the best way” to deal with the increasing number of infections. Every effort must be made to avoid a situation like the one seen at the end of last year and early this year, deputy government spokesman Ulrike Demmer said Monday in Berlin amid the months-long lockdown. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the number of reported new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days has now risen nationwide to 23.1 – the previous day was 22.6, a week ago 17.8. But there are regional differences. The seven-day incidence varies from 6.5 in Thuringia to 54.8 in Hamburg.

In concrete terms, there are several points for attention for the consultation:

Vaccination: CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak said Monday after a meeting of the presidium: “We need to convince more people to get vaccinated. Because one thing is clear to us: vaccinated people have advantages. And someone who gets vaccinated shouldn’t have any disadvantages because other people don’t want to be vaccinated for various reasons.” Vaccinations are progressing – at the moment, however, especially with the planned second vaccinations. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) appealed: “Every vaccination counts!” Nearly 45.6 million people or 54.8 percent of all residents are now fully vaccinated.

Testing: As an extra incentive for more vaccinations, the free rapid tests for everyone are widely approved. Lower Saxony Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) told the Tagesspiegel: “I think it is absolutely right that unvaccinated people should pay for their tests themselves from the autumn. Until then, everyone had the opportunity to get vaccinated for free.” Baden-Württemberg government leader Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) told “Stuttgarter Zeitung / Stuttgarter Nachrichten”: “In the long run, the public sector will not be able to fund the tests.” There is a free vaccination offer for everyone.

Spahn had suggested that tests should no longer be available for free from mid-October – except for people who cannot be vaccinated or for whom there is no general vaccination advice, such as pregnant women or minors. Stephan Thomae of the FDP parliamentary group told the dpa: “Keeping the tests free for as long as possible, including until 2022, is money well spent.” This also applies to those who have recovered and who have been vaccinated. They are largely protected against disease, but can transmit viruses.

Protective measures: Weil said many had now been vaccinated. “Against this background, massive restrictions, such as we had in the spring, for example, are no longer appropriate.” Kretschmann said: “We will largely lift restrictions on those who have been vaccinated and recovered.” For those who have not been vaccinated, access to events or facilities must be “conditional” due to the higher risk of infection. The mask requirement, for example in buses and trains, will certainly be maintained.

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”: “It is important to me that those who do not want to be vaccinated continue to have the opportunity to participate in public life through testing.” Spahn had made it clear that this should remain possible for ‘essential matters’ such as transport or visits to the town hall. For discos or stadiums, for example, he could also envision access for only vaccinated or convalescent people.

The tourism industry asked federal and state governments to create a “base for permanent openings” rather than talk about restrictions on travel and going out again when the number of infections is low. The incidence thresholds currently in place in federal ordinances, from which the tightening will automatically take effect, should be “significantly increased”. The trade association warned that politics should not just slide into the next lockdown. It is about customization and well-dosed action.

Corona Criteria: The seven-day incidence has so far been the basis for many corona restrictions in the pandemic, for example as part of the federal emergency brake that expired at the end of June. In the future, more values ​​are likely to be included to a greater extent – as is already the case in many cases in the political debate about stressed intensive care units. According to dpa information in the CDU Presidium, CDU chief Armin Laschet suggested that hospital occupancy, number of intensive care patients and vaccination progress should be taken into account more in regulation.

Laschet therefore also argued for the Bundestag to extend the “epidemic of national scope” that initially existed until September – so that security measures such as the mask requirement, contact tracking or the obligation to adhere to hygiene concepts could continue to be provided. regulations. Scholz had already proposed an extension of this special situation. The chairman of the health committee of the Bundestag, Erwin Rüddel (CDU), demanded in the newspaper “Bild”: “The message must be that there will be no more automatic lockdowns – even for those who have not been vaccinated.”

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