After a heated corona debate, the Bundestag is extending the epidemic situation in Germany by months. This not only affects the mask requirement.
- The German Bundestag will hold a special session on August 25th.
- After a heated debate, parliament decides to continue the corona emergency until the end of November.
- At the request of the GroKo by Chancellor Angela Merkel *, the epidemic situation in Germany is being extended.
Update from August 25, 7.45 p.m.: Due to the corona crisis, the Bundestag has continued to determine an “epidemic situation of national importance”. On Wednesday, 325 MPs voted for a corresponding motion by the government factions of the Union and the SPD. 253 parliamentarians voted against, five abstained. The special situation will initially apply for a further three months, i.e. until the end of November. Without a renewed confirmation by Parliament, it will expire after three months.
The ascertained “epidemic situation” creates, among other things, a legal basis for state regulations on specific crisis measures such as mask requirements or contact restrictions. The Bundestag first determined it in March 2020 and last confirmed on June 11 that the special situation persists. According to the Infection Protection Act, it exists “if there is a serious risk to public health in the entire Federal Republic of Germany”.
Epidemic situation in Germany: Virologist Hendrick Streeck approves plans of the federal government
Update from August 25, 4:08 p.m .: The Bundestag’s debate on the extension of the epidemic situation and new provisions in the Infection Protection Act is still pending: Parliament has so far dealt with the Afghanistan mission and flood relief in its special session. However, there is no lack of clear expressions of opinion in advance.
The well-known virologist Hendrick Streeck approved in an interview with the New Osnabrück Newspaper the plans of the federal government – but denounced the lack of planning. The extension of the epidemic situation is in principle understandable, he explained. It is also certain that, among other things, in view of the vaccination forest step, “the incidences are no longer meaningful. Restrictions on fundamental rights should no longer be made on this basis ”. At the same time, however, he called for concepts for the transition from a corona “epidemic” to an “endemic”. “This process does not seem to be defined at the moment,” he complained.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the health committee, Erwin Rüddel (CDU), announced on Deutschlandfunk that, despite initial concerns, he would now agree to the prolongation of the epidemic situation. The basis has changed because the federal government now wants to remove the incidence value as the decisive benchmark for corona measures from the Infection Protection Act. This laid the foundation for normalization. The incidence value is no longer meaningful at all, emphasized Rüddel. A majority in favor of the extension now seems certain.
Merkel’s GroKo wants to extend the epidemic situation – Greens and FDP angry: “Not eligible”
Preliminary report: Berlin – Actually, the members of the Bundestag are currently on the summer break – but instead of an election campaign (and vacation), Parliament is expecting a special session on Wednesday with plenty of explosives. The program not only includes a government statement by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on the subject of Afghanistan. The Bundestag should also decide on flood aid for western Germany and an extension of the epidemic emergency in the corona crisis.
Especially when it comes to Corona, it should crash. On the one hand, a move away from incidence as the main lever in the Infection Protection Act is to be initiated – by means of a “request to the federal government”. A decision will probably not be made here until September. But things get serious when it comes to the “epidemic emergency”. Merkel’s grand coalition * wants to have the powerful instrument continued. Large sections of the opposition are angry about this.
The debate comes just in time for the next Corona wave in Germany: For the first time since May, the health authorities have reported more than 10,000 new infections to the Robert Koch Institute within one day. So now the course has to be set for another autumn pandemic – on the one hand with a view to an impending lockdown due to incidence. On the other hand, also to avoid overloading the health system.
Corona issue in the Bundestag: Merkel’s GroKo wants to continue the epidemic situation – opposition is vehemently criticized
The epidemic situation is no longer seen by several parties as a suitable means – the penultimate extension in March had already rained heavy allegations. The progress in vaccination makes it possible for the government to return its special powers to the Bundestag, believes the FDP, for example. “The health emergency of the epidemic situation of national scope must therefore be ended,” demanded party leader Christian Lindner.
Like the Greens, the FDP has submitted an application that is to be discussed in the Bundestag on Wednesday. “The unchanged determination of an epidemic situation of national scope is out of the question,” says the Greens’ submission.
The proposal of the grand coalition, however, provides for the epidemic emergency to be extended beyond the end of September for up to three more months, because without such a decision it would expire. The requirement for the continued validity of the same is given with a view to the further dynamic spread of the coronavirus and the associated “serious risk to public health in the entire Federal Republic of Germany”, according to the application.
Bundestag special session on Corona: incidence is said to have had its day – “long overdue”
There is more encouragement for the incidence push by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). According to its own information, the federal government wants to delete the incidence value * of 50 from the Infection Protection Act. Instead, the so-called hospitalization rate is to be introduced as an important new benchmark. This indicates how many people are admitted to clinics within seven days.
The FDP welcomed the planned move away from the incidence value. “The federal government is finally saying goodbye to incidence as the only yardstick for assessing the pandemic situation,” said Lindner. “That was long overdue.” However, it was “technically not appropriate” to just look at hospitalization. The vaccination rates and the proportion of positive test results must also be included, he said. There must be a set of instruments in order to be able to take the appropriate measures on site, according to Lindner. “The federal government must ensure that there is no new lockdown in the fall.”
Spahn’s coalition partner SPD also signaled approval of the planned amendment to the Infection Protection Act. “We do not need this incidence figure,” said Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Bild TV with a view to the 50 value. “It came about at a time when we had very different numbers, when we didn’t have enough vaccine.”
According to the plans of the grand coalition, the Bundestag is to request the federal government by resolution on Wednesday to initiate a corresponding amendment to the Infection Protection Act. This could be decided by the federal cabinet on September 1st, the Bundestag could then approve the new regulation on September 7th. After that, the new law still has to pass the Federal Council, which is to happen at a special meeting of the regional chamber on September 10th. (fn / AFP / dpa) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.