The legal basis for corona protection measures expires in September. The traffic light wants to advise and make preparations quickly. Some politicians already have a preference for possible measures.

Unlike the Chancellor and the FDP, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach does not want to completely rule out school closures in the upcoming preparations for a large corona wave in autumn.

“I think it’s very, very unlikely. They would then be the very last resort. But categorically excluding them, I would be careful because: We don’t know which (virus) variants are coming,” said the SPD politician on the ARD program “Anne Will” when asked repeatedly. On the other hand, he no longer considers an extensive shutdown of public life through a lockdown to be necessary as a protective instrument. “We simply have too good an immune status in the population for that,” he explained.

Lauterbach: Also be prepared for difficult variants

Lauterbach is negotiating with Justice Minister Marco Buschmann from the FDP about the measures that are fundamentally possible in the future. Because in September the legal basis for the basic measures, which have now been severely restricted, will expire – and at the same time there are fears that the number of infections, which is already increasing, will rise again sharply.

Buschmann has already ruled out a number of possible earlier protective measures, including school closures. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also said on Sunday: “There should be no more school closures.”

Lauterbach said the planned measures should give countries the tools to cover different scenarios. “We also have to be prepared for very difficult variants,” he said. “It has to be a comprehensive tool kit, so it can’t be a narrow-gauge affair.”

Politicians from several parties are also calling for a future focus on testing rather than renewed access restrictions such as 2G or 3G (vaccinated, recovered, tested). Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had already said in the ARD interview that the fall and winter would no longer require such drastic measures as in previous years. The nationwide legal basis for the Corona measures expires on September 23.

Test obligation in the conversation

The Green health politician Janosch Dahmen spoke out in favor of compulsory testing if the mask requirement and vaccination campaign were not sufficient. “If we find that despite the masks in the interior and booster vaccinations, the infection dynamics are increasing again, it may be that effective hygiene concepts including access controls are needed again,” he told the “Welt”.

In this case, a general obligation to test makes sense, regardless of whether someone has been vaccinated or recovered. “Because those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered can also become infected – albeit less frequently – and infect others.” The task now is to create the legal basis for such a step.

The health policy spokesman for the Union faction, Tino Sorge, spoke out in favor of the “world”. “Unfortunately, the current vaccines do not protect against infection,” he said. Tests would create security in many places next autumn. The “Augsburger Allgemeine” said Sorge: “Where tests are required to protect vulnerable groups, they must continue to be available free of charge.” However, he rejected unprovoked citizen tests that cost billions and were prone to abuse.

FDP wants more personal responsibility

The health policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Andrew Ullmann, spoke out in the “world” for more personal responsibility. “Personally, in the current phase of the pandemic, I would be in favor of clear and stringent recommendations instead of continuous legal obligations.”

Scholz also said in the ARD interview that he could imagine that compulsory tests and masks would play a greater role again in autumn and winter. “I think you have to assume that the mask will play a bigger role in autumn and winter than it does now.”

School closures, on the other hand, should no longer exist, “and I don’t think we need the kind of lockdown we’ve had in recent years.” The Chancellor called on everyone over the age of 60 to have a fourth vaccination against Corona.