Corona rules in autumn: lockdown, mask requirement? That could come


New Corona rules in autumn: what comes, what doesn’t come

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Updated: 07/04/2022, 22:00

| Reading time: 5 minutes

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Experts draw a mixed balance of previous corona measures

Experts draw a mixed balance of previous corona measures

A commission of experts has examined the effectiveness of the corona measures of the last two years and drawn a mixed conclusion. The researchers explain that many restrictions only became effective at the beginning of the pandemic.

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New lockdowns exclude traffic light peaks. School closures, tests and isolation rules are at issue. What applies in autumn?

Berlin. Cautious optimism for the coming weeks, but massive worries about the fall: the current summer holiday season could change summer wave Limit yourself, writes Health Minister Karl Lauterbach on Twitter. After the summer, however, the country “must be prepared for very difficult variants,” said the SPD politician at the weekend. If Lauterbach has its way, the federal states need a well-stocked toolbox, it cannot be “a narrow-gauge matter”. The political struggle for corona protection in the coming third pandemic winter is in full swing – the first answers have already been given.

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Emergency plan for the Corona wave in autumn: no more lockdowns?

A lockdown can make sense, especially at the beginning of a pandemic: That’s the assessment of the experts who presented their evaluation report on the previous pandemic measures on Friday. The German medical officers would therefore like lockdown measures, i.e. nationwide closures, at least as an option for emergencies in the future German Infection Protection Act happen. In the traffic light coalition, however, there is no majority for this: the FDP parliamentary group categorically excludes these measures. “The lockdowns, they can’t come back, the curfews, even school closures should no longer be an instrument that we use across the board,” says FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr. FDP Vice Wolfgang Kubicki explained on Monday that even “industry-specific closures” would no longer be possible. “We’ll talk about everything else,” said Kubicki. Also read: Corona report: Experts recommend this for the fall

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Minister of Health Lauterbach also no longer want to use lockdowns: According to Lauterbach, it is no longer necessary to largely shut down public life. “We simply have too good an immune status in the population for that,” he explained. Conversely, the traffic light partners agree that wearing masks will play a role again. However, it is unclear how, when and where one Mask requirement shall apply.

Children and young people: Are school closures out of the question?

Lauterbach, on the other hand, does not want to make a final decision on school closures: unlike the chancellor and the FDP, the health minister does not want to completely rule them out. “I think it’s very, very unlikely. They would then be the very last resort. But I would be cautious about categorically excluding them, because we don’t know which ones Virus variants come,” said the SPD politician on Sunday evening on ARD. FDP Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann had already spoken out against possible school closures. Scholz also said: “There should be no more school closures.”

Restaurants & shops: Will testing be mandatory instead of the 2G rule?

In their evaluation report, the experts came to the conclusion that in the current situation, the effect of 2G measures (access only for vaccinated and those who have recovered) is high in the first few weeks after the booster vaccination or recovery. However, protection against infection decreases significantly over time. Should access restrictions be necessary again in autumn, tests are recommended regardless of the vaccination status.

The Green health politician Janosch Dahmen is now in favor of exactly this path: Should the Infection situation in autumn tighten, 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 – albeit less frequently – become infected and infect others.” It is now a matter of creating the legal basis for such a step.

Quarantine: What will become of the isolation for infected people?

Currently, people with a corona infection only have to be isolated for five days instead of seven. A “free test” on the fifth day is “urgently” advised, it is only mandatory for employees in the health and care sector. FDP Vice Kubicki spoke in favor of the Corona failures among the staff at clinics in Schleswig-Holstein shorter quarantine times out. The university hospital had announced that it would temporarily close stations in Kiel and Lübeck. As of Friday, 479 employees were in quarantine. Kubicki spoke out in favor of possible free tests with a quick test after just three days. If those infected no longer infect others, they could also return to their service.

Patient advocates, on the other hand, are calling for the opposite approach: the recent shortening of the Obligation to isolate infected people for just five days is fueling the uncontrolled spread of corona, said Eugen Brysch, board member of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, to our editors. This makes it more and more dangerous in autumn for the seriously ill, those in need of care and the chronically ill. “Therefore, the isolation period for corona positives must be extended to ten days,” Brysch demanded. This may only be shortened with a negative PCR test.

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