Extension and simplifications – Changes to the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance will come into force tomorrow

The Lower Saxony ordinance on protective measures against the corona virus was last extended until May 25, 2022 at the end of April. With the amending ordinance published today and coming into force tomorrow, the validity of the Corona ordinance will now be extended until June 22, 2022. The protective measures regulated by this ordinance are largely maintained. The reason is that there is still a not inconsiderable number of new infections in Lower Saxony every day and the incidence in the state is still comparatively high at just over 400. However, the peak of the infection wave was passed a few weeks ago and the 7-day incidence is in a steady downward trend. In this respect, it is to be hoped that the remaining protective measures can also be gradually dismantled in the future.

With today’s change in the ordinance, there are already relaxations in several areas:

Section 4 (2) has so far required employees, but also visitors to hospitals, prevention and rehabilitation facilities to wear an FFP-2 mask or a mask with a comparable level of protection. With the new regulation in § 4 paragraph 2, the management of hospitals as well as preventive and rehabilitation facilities are obliged to independently make regulations according to § 2 about wearing a medical mask in closed rooms as part of the hygiene plans to be drawn up according to § 23 paragraph 5 IfSG hold true. This means that the management of the facility can and should oblige employees, visitors and patients to wear a respiratory mask or a medical mask, depending on the situation.

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It can, but does not necessarily have to be an FFP-2 mask and it does not have to be worn always and everywhere. In the event of non-compliance, those concerned can be expelled from the house or otherwise sanctioned.

In the regulation on medical practices, facilities for outpatient surgery, dialysis facilities, day clinics, rescue services in § 5 of the Corona Ordinance, the previous sentence 4 will be reworded. It is made clear that the possibility of removing the mask – if this is necessary for the treatment – applies not only to patients, but also to other people, such as doctors, speech therapists.

The insertion of a further sentence 5 clarifies that there is no mask requirement for the persons working in the facilities according to sentence 1 if they work in rooms that are neither public nor accessible to patients, such as social or storage rooms. In this respect, the scope of application of the regulation according to § 5 is now limited to the areas in which this is necessary to protect particularly vulnerable patients. Possible further orders in individual cases based on the domiciliary rights of the institutions concerned remain unaffected by this.

Another change concerns facilities for the collective accommodation of ethnic German resettlers, refugees and asylum seekers as well as those who are enforceably obliged to leave the country: With the new regulations in Section 10, the operators of these facilities will no longer be obliged to carry out at least two tests per week during a person’s stay in the facility concerned to perform. However, the test obligation upon admission to the facility and the obligation to wear a respiratory mask (protection level FFP2, KN 95 or an equivalent protection level) remain. This continues to reduce the risk of infection with the corona virus for employed and accommodated people.

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