Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is dampening optimism about the end of the corona pandemic. The SPD politician sees the danger of increasing numbers of infections in the summer.
Berlin – In a few days the time will have come: On March 20th, a large part of the corona protection measures that are still in place will fall, only “low-threshold basic protection measures” should continue to apply, as stated in the corresponding decision of the Prime Ministers’ Conference. So a summer beckons that could almost feel normal, a more relaxed public life with major events, open clubs and discos and no other restrictions. But Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach sees the upcoming summer months less rosy and warns of a “summer wave”.
Lauterbach confirms the realignment of the Infection Protection Act
Various factors make the SPD politician cautious and warn. The current virus variants Delta and Omikron can remain dangerous even in the warm summer months. Opposite the newspapers Funke media group Lauterbach says that increasing contacts and declining vaccination protection could lead to increasing numbers of infections. “We have to reckon with a summer wave,” says Lauterbach.
He therefore advocates an adjustment of the Infection Protection Act, which allows the federal states to implement measures flexibly and at an early stage if they are necessary. This should primarily include the obligation to wear a mask and contact restrictions. “It should be possible to set upper limits for private meetings and public events as well as access rules for restaurants, for example, i.e. 2G or 2G-plus regulations,” says Lauterbach. Likewise, test rules should continue to be enforced.
The traffic light coalition has planned a very tight schedule for the amendment of the Infection Protection Act, which is intended to enable such measures. A draft is to be decided on March 9th, which is to be heard before the Health Committee on March 14th. This will then be presented to Parliament on March 16th. A debate of just 70 minutes is planned for the second and third readings before the vote. Infection control lawyer Andrea Kießling describes the procedure on Twitter as “urgent and hasty”. Constitutional lawyer Josef Franz Lindner describes the “pushing through in three days” as a “sign of poverty”.
Lauterbach pessimistic – Reinhardt relies on personal responsibility
With the announcement of another wave, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach is dampening the prospects of a completely carefree and normal summer with regard to the corona virus. Klaus Reinhardt, President of the German Medical Association, on the other hand, relies on the population taking responsibility for their own actions. One should learn to deal with the risk of infection “reasonably” in everyday life, Reinhardt told the Rheinische Post. This includes wearing FFP2 masks in public transport and in retail, vaccination and voluntary tests before private events.
The Bonn-based virologist Hendrik Streeck thinks a completely different way is the right one and in the podcast “Die Wochentester” pleads for the end of the mask requirement in summer: “We have to switch to a summer tire and winter tire mode. Mask in autumn and winter, not in summer.” He recently said the same thing in an interview with Merkur.de.
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