In Thuringia, Saxony and Bavaria there are more corona cases than anywhere else in the republic. Stricter requirements now also apply in Bavaria. But are they enough to break the fourth wave?
Munich / Berlin – In Bavaria, stricter corona rules apply from today. The reason for this is the high number of occupied intensive care beds.
Only those who have been vaccinated, those who have recovered and people with a negative PCR test have access to inns and events in closed rooms. A rapid antigen test is no longer enough. In addition, an FFP2 mask must generally be worn again. In regions where the number of new infections and intensive care patients is particularly high, even stricter rules apply.
After Saxony and Thuringia, Bavaria is the country that is currently hardest hit by the fourth corona wave. The numbers are increasing rapidly. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide seven-day incidence – i.e. the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days – as 183.7 on Saturday morning. In Saxony, however, it was 415.8, in Thuringia 406, in Bavaria 284. In many districts of the three states the value is over 500.
Hospital traffic light on yellow
The decisive factor for the tightening in Bavaria, however, is the situation in the intensive care units. On Saturday 552 intensive care patients were treated with Covid-19 in the Free State. The hospital traffic light will be yellow from Sunday, said the Ministry of Health. This means that the 3G-plus rule (vaccinated, recovered or PCR-tested) applies in bars and at events. Only vaccinated and convalescent people are allowed to go to discos and clubs (2G rule).
There are no new restrictions for trade and public transport. However, many Bavarian regions are considered regional hotspots. Where the seven-day incidence is over 300 and the intensive care beds in the region are more than 80 percent occupied, the regulations of the red hospital traffic light apply, including extensive 2G rules for indoor events.
2G rule controversial
In Austria, a nationwide 2G rule will apply from this Monday due to the sharply increasing corona numbers. In Germany, Saxony is the first federal state to implement the 2G rule in parts of public life across the board and in a mandatory manner. This means that from Monday only those who have recovered or have been vaccinated will have access to indoor restaurants, discos or leisure and cultural facilities. Major events such as football in stadiums are also affected.
The new President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas (SPD) sees further restrictions on unvaccinated people as the number of infections increases. “As long as we do not have a compulsory vaccination, we should at least expand the 2G and 3G rules,” said Bas the “Tagesspiegel”.
However, the 2G rule is controversial. Some experts criticize that it lulls people into a false sense of security because people who have been vaccinated could become infected and transmit the virus. They are therefore calling for vaccinated and convalescents to be tested regularly, especially where people at particular risk live, and for these tests to be offered again free of charge.
Debate about free rapid tests
The German Medical Association is also calling for a quick return to free corona rapid tests. The end of the assumption of costs for so-called citizen tests did not motivate those unwilling to be vaccinated, President Klaus Reinhardt told the newspapers of the Funke media group. The federal and state governments should therefore have the courage to correct this wrong decision quickly and consistently.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst called for free corona tests for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. “The high numbers of infections among unvaccinated people lead to more and more breakthroughs among those who have been vaccinated,” said the CDU politician of “Bild am Sonntag”. Free rapid tests for vaccinated and convalescent people would make it easier for people with little money to protect themselves and others without exposing the incentive to vaccinate.
Green parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt pleaded for a vaccination to be checked as an entry requirement for nursing homes. “Residents, nurses and visitors have to be tested regularly, including those who have been vaccinated or recovered,” she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “And where that is not enough, we should discuss the need for proof of vaccination.” Dpa
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