D.he number of those affected is growing day by day: There are now several million who, as residents of the corona risk areas in Germany, have difficulties with their travel plans for the autumn vacation. Because at least 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants were counted within seven days in their city or district, they are no longer allowed to be accommodated in hotels and pensions in most federal states, as a majority of the states had decided.
The only way out: if the residents of the risk areas have a negative corona test carried out in good time and can present it on arrival.
The opposition in the Bundestag sharply criticized the regulation: “I find the blanket restriction of freedom of movement within Germany disproportionate,” said FDP leader Christian Lindner WELT. Only living in a so-called risk area does not immediately turn cautious people into a risk. “The classification of risk areas themselves must also be based on more parameters than just the number of new infections,” said Lindner.
“Test capacities are required for high-risk patients”
Dietmar Bartsch, the parliamentary group leader of the Left Party, told WELT: “The current ban on accommodation is illogical because it prohibits travel from Berlin to Brandenburg, for example, but not the other way around.” The possibility of being free to test also endangers “the already scarce test capacities that are urgently needed for medical staff and high-risk patients ”. In countries where the Left Party co-governs, for example in Thuringia, the “accommodation of people who come from risk areas within Germany is rightly not prohibited”. In the current situation there is “no need for blind actionism, but rather clarity and reliability”, says Bartsch.
Sebastian Munzenmaier, the vice-chairman of the AfD parliamentary group, demands: “The domestic German ban on accommodation should be lifted with immediate effect.” It is “a serious violation of fundamental rights for all travelers and hoteliers”. He advised “all those affected to take legal action against it”. In addition, the ban endangers the “almost three million” jobs in the German tourism industry, according to Münzenmaier.
The coalition factions agreed in principle, but at the same time wanted uniform rules. “I know it is difficult: but we are in a global pandemic. Now is not the time for unnecessary trips to risk areas, whether at home or abroad, ”said Sabine Dittmar, health policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group. In order not to jeopardize the acceptance of the Corona rules, “nationwide regulations are needed, both for fines, domestic bans on accommodation or the size of events.” Uniform rules could very well be graduated and take regional infection rates into account.
Do not test until after five days of quarantine
A patchwork of corona rules should be avoided. The federal government has set good guidelines for example with the test strategy for travelers returning from trips abroad. “The fact that returnees from risk areas are only tested after a five-day quarantine makes very good sense from an infectious point of view – I support that,” said Dittmar.
Katja Leikert, the deputy head of the Union parliamentary group, urges EU-wide rules: “We need a functioning Europe-wide rapid and early warning system as well as uniform rules for travelers returning from risk areas.” Without coordination, the EU will “remain a patchwork of corona – with all the negative Consequences for people and the internal market ”. Your group called on “the governments of the EU Member States to give the issue of coordination the attention it deserves.”
In an interview with WELT, the virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit described bans on accommodation as “neither targeted nor proportionate”. For the doctor, journeys within Germany are not an important factor in the increase in the number of cases. He doubts that “a family who rents a house on the Baltic Sea will contribute significantly to the pandemic”.
According to Schmidt-Chanasit, there is “insufficient capacity to test all people before their trip”. That would unnecessarily overload the test centers and medical practices and take the capacities where they are urgently needed – i.e. in daycare centers, schools, hospitals, old people’s and nursing homes.
Söder wants even harsher sentences
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), one of the driving forces behind the ban on accommodation, called for a further tightening on Sunday: namely, tougher penalties for citizens who are caught without a mask. “It takes 250 euros for a violation, 500 euros for repetitions,” said the CSU head of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. The current penalty of 50 euros is not enough, and it can also make sense, where there is a celebration in public places, “to introduce a mask requirement”.
Lindner rejected this. “Instead of bringing ever higher fines into play, Markus Söder should work to ensure that we finally get a really comprehensive and nationwide uniform set of rules for regional measures against Corona.” Left faction leader Bartsch said: “Markus Söder should take care of his tasks on site instead of submitting new ‘clever’ suggestions from Bavaria every week, where the numbers are by far the worst. “
AfD politician Munzenmaier said that his parliamentary group rejects the mask requirement and therefore also the “sometimes excessive fines”. Citizens should be able to decide for themselves “whether they want to wear a mask or not, especially because the effectiveness of ordinary everyday masks as ‘virus protection’ is scientifically very controversial”.
Armin Laschet (CDU), Prime Minister of the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, announced on Sunday after a cabinet meeting that the number of participants for private celebrations outside of private homes would be limited to a maximum of 50. Numerous cities in the densely populated state had recently exceeded the threshold of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, including Cologne and Essen. In the affected cities, the opening times of pubs are now to be restricted and events with more than 500 participants outdoors and 250 participants indoors are to be canceled.
Despite the increasing number of infections, the President of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, is sticking to his warning against activism. Of course, it is important to continue to adhere to the hygiene and distance rules, he said on Sunday in the NDR: “Other measures are in large parts actually a bit of political activism.” They are unsuitable and tie up enormous resources.
Gassen cited the ban on accommodation as an example. “Think of the tests that are exhausted because people want to go on vacation. That means: The test centers are full of people who are clinically healthy. ”He pleaded for a sensible use of the limited resources.
It is crucial to protect the risk groups, emphasized Gassen. Germany is much further ahead than at the beginning of the pandemic: “We currently have numbers of infections that we already had in the spring. And currently we have roughly ten to 20 corona-associated deaths per day. So we have a completely different situation than in April. “