D.he German Bundestag has adopted the amendments to the Infection Protection Act. Of the 709 members of parliament, 342 members voted for and 220 voted against. In addition, 64 parliamentarians abstained. With the nationwide corona emergency brake, the federal government is given the authority to order contact restrictions and closings. So far, the federal states have been responsible for this. The rules are now also changing for schools and retailers.
The cornerstones of the “Federal Emergency Brake” include several areas – an overview:
Curfews and private contacts: With a seven-day incidence of more than 100 on three consecutive days, there should be night curfews from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The locks are to begin an hour later than originally planned. Physical exercise in the open air, such as jogging, should be allowed between 10 p.m. and midnight. The previously applicable exemptions from curfews remain, for example for emergencies or caring for people in need of care. From this incidence threshold onwards, a maximum of one household may meet with one other person. Children up to 14 years do not count. Up to 30 people should be allowed to come together for funeral services. There are doubts about the effectiveness on the part of science.
schools: The threshold for ending face-to-face teaching in schools, originally set at a seven-day incidence of 200 and therefore criticized as too high, has been reduced to 165. Exceptions for graduating classes and special needs schools are possible. If the incidence is greater than 100, changing lessons is mandatory. Students and teachers must be tested twice a week to participate in face-to-face classes.
Shop: For shopping outside the grocery, drugstore, book and flower trade as well as other areas, the following should apply: Customers can only let in shops if they present a negative Corona test and have booked an appointment. If the value rises above 150, only the collection of ordered goods (Click & Collect) would be allowed.
Regardless of the incidence should be the following Home office regulation apply: The obligation to work from home, which was previously regulated by an ordinance, is now to be anchored in the Infection Protection Act. Employees would have to be offered to do office work or comparable activities in their home if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary. In companies where home office is not possible, the employees must be tested.
Previously, Health Minister Jens Spahn had once again advertised the “Federal Emergency Brake” in the German Bundestag. The necessary changes to the Infection Protection Act are “appropriate, proportionate and, incidentally, also suitable” to break the wave of new corona infections, said the CDU politician in front of the MPs. It was “the result of a democratic process.” The parliamentary groups of the opposition from the Left, Greens, FDP and AfD had announced that they would not approve the law. Six amendments by the FDP were rejected by a majority in parliament, as were two from the Left and one from the Greens.
The regulations could take effect from Saturday at the earliest. Before that can happen, they have to pass the Federal Council on Thursday. In addition, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has yet to sign the law and it has yet to be promulgated. The measures are limited to June 30th. The legislature assumes that by then at the latest the pandemic will be strongly pushed back by the vaccinations. FDP and Free Voters, among others, have already announced constitutional complaints against the measures
Meanwhile, the Berlin police broke up a “lateral thinker” demonstration at the Reichstag. Since the minimum distance is not kept and masks are not worn, “the meeting will be dissolved by our head of operations,” wrote the police on Twitter. Several thousand people demonstrated against the national regulations in Berlin’s government district. The police were on site with a large contingent of up to 2200 emergency services. She was supported by police officers from other federal states and by the federal police. The government district was largely cordoned off, and water cannons were ready.
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