The corona virus is striking again and politicians are slowly thinking about how the country should survive autumn and winter. In a new infection protection law, the measures are to be rearranged. But which ones stay and which ones disappear?
According to Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP), the new Infection Protection Act could again provide for a far-reaching mask requirement. “We will probably present a concept later this month,” Buschmann said at the weekend. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also assumes “that the mask will play a greater role in autumn and winter than it does now”. The association of cities and municipalities has meanwhile called for the free corona tests to be resumed.
Buschmann told the “Welt am Sonntag” that it was about “adapted behavior to the situation: if the danger decreases, then you have to withdraw the measures. If the danger increases, then you have to counteract it appropriately”. The evaluation report on the effectiveness of the previous corona measures confirmed that the medical mask indoors had “a very good cost-benefit ratio”, according to the minister.
As far as possible access restrictions in public spaces through 2G or 3G rules are concerned, the minister said: “We will have to talk about that now. We also have to take a close look at what effects the vaccines have and under what conditions this could apply.” He is personally skeptical, “but we will now discuss it carefully.”
Fight against corona virus: cancellation of further lockdowns
Scholz said on Sunday in the ARD “summer interview” that he basically assumes that the pandemic will be “completely different” this year compared to the two previous years – especially because of the increased immunity of the population. “Although not very many have been vaccinated, there are many, many more than in some other countries,” said Scholz.
Despite the increasing number of infections, the Chancellor does not expect a new corona lockdown: “I don’t think we need such a lockdown as we have had in recent years.” The Chancellor rejected renewed school closures. Open questions such as a return to mandatory testing in schools or daycare centers or a general obligation to wear masks indoors would have to be discussed with the federal states if necessary, he said.
Buschmann also clearly rejected new lockdowns. “For all we know, lockdowns, school closures and curfews are no longer proportionate today, in my view.” Such measures could only be taken, if at all, in the early stages of a pandemic. “Now we are in the third year. And if we know today that these measures have a very bad cost-benefit profile, then we should finally say goodbye to them.”
Masks make sense indoors – cities and the association of municipalities are demanding free tests
In its report on the Corona measures in Germany, a committee of experts sharply criticized the data situation and the occurrence of restrictions on fundamental rights on Friday. According to their own statements, the experts were therefore unable to evaluate individual measures – with one exception: wearing a mask indoors was rated as useful for reducing the incidence of infection. As far as 2G rules and school closures are concerned, the committee did not make any clear statements.
The Association of Towns and Municipalities called for the free citizen tests to be resumed. “By autumn at the latest, when the next big corona wave threatens,” there must be “free tests across the board,” said general manager Gerd Landsberg to the RND newspapers on Saturday. The German Association of Cities called for a rapid legislative process for the new Infection Protection Act. It would be too late to start in the fall, said General Manager Helmut Dedy to the Funke newspapers.