Government as a service is possible
The Bundestag has adopted a nationwide emergency brake in the Infection Protection Act. The new regulation came into force on Friday, April 23rd. Central content: If a district or an independent city exceeds an incidence of 100 on three consecutive days, additional, nationwide measures apply there from the day after the next.
The Incidence of 100 is exceeded if more than 100 new infections with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants are found within seven days.
"The situation is serious, very serious," stressed Federal Health Minister Spahn in the Bundestag. This is shown by a look at the capacity utilization of the intensive care units - the "hardest currency in this pandemic". Vaccination and testing would provide perspective, but alone were not enough to contain the third wave. Rather, there is a tried, tested and effective means of doing this: “reducing contacts and thus infections”.
It's not about a permanent state
“What we need now is clarity and consistency,” underlined Federal Finance Minister Scholz in the parliamentary debate. The amendment to the Infection Protection Act stipulates that if the incidence is over 100, something must be done - “everywhere in Germany”. The new regulation should contribute to more comprehensibility and greater support for necessary measures. Scholz made it clear that it was about overcoming the pandemic - and "not about a permanent condition".
These measures are part of the emergency brake
The nationwide emergency brake now provides a large number of measures to significantly reduce contacts in the event of an increased infection rate and to slow the spread of the virus. These measures can be found in the newly inserted Section 28b of the Infection Protection Act. Most of the instruments are already known to many citizens, as they have already been agreed by the federal and state governments to combat pandemics.
- Contact restrictions for private indoor and outdoor meetings:Reducing private and professional contacts is the most effective way of curbing the number of new infections. Nevertheless, nobody should stay lonely. Therefore, meetings of a household with another person are still possible even if the incidence is over 100 - but meetings with more people are not.
- Store openings: Even with a high incidence, the supply of the population with food, everyday consumer goods and essential services is reliably ensured. Grocery stores including direct marketing, beverage stores, health food stores, baby stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, drug stores, opticians, hearing care professionals, petrol stations, newspaper sales outlets, bookstores, flower shops, pet stores, animal feed markets, garden centers and wholesalers will remain open. In all cases, of course, compliance with appropriate hygiene concepts and the requirement to wear a mask are a prerequisite.
If the incidence is below 150, it will also be possible in all other shops to shop with an appointment and with a current negative test result. In the service sector, everything that is not expressly prohibited remains open, for example bicycle and car repair shops, banks and savings banks, post offices and the like.
- Body-hugging services - only in exceptional cases:Services close to the body should only be used for medical, therapeutic, nursing or pastoral purposes. Exception: visiting the hairdresser and foot care, but only if the customers can present a daily negative corona test - and of course only with a mask. Other body-hugging services should no longer be possible.
- Restricted leisure and sports opportunities:Gastronomy and hotels, leisure and cultural facilities are to close when the incidence is over 100. Exceptions: outdoor areas of zoological and botanical gardens. They can be visited with a current negative test. Professional athletes as well as top athletes from the national and state squads can continue to train and also hold competitions - as usual without spectators and taking into account protection and hygiene concepts. For everyone else, the following applies: sport, yes, but alone, as a couple or only with members of your own household. Exception: Children up to 14 years of age can do sports outside in a group with up to five other children without contact.
- Cultural institutions: Theaters, operas, concert halls, music clubs, museums and memorials must remain closed. This also applies to cinemas with the exception of drive-in theaters.
- Exit restrictions:Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., only those who have a good reason should leave the house - such as going to work, needing medical help or walking the dog. Until midnight it will still be possible to jog or go for a walk outside by yourself. Exit restrictions are one instrument among many others. They help to limit mobility. And mobility restrictions help to reduce the number of new infections.
- No classroom teaching if the incidence is over 165:The infection process does not stop at the school door. Due to the dynamic infection situation, it is therefore important to come to nationwide regulations here too, if the epidemiological situation requires it. If the incidence is above 165, face-to-face teaching in schools and regular care in day-care centers should be prohibited. Possible exceptions: graduating classes and special needs schools.
- Home office: The obligation to offer home office if this is operationally possible is already part of the Corona occupational health and safety ordinance. With the inclusion in the Infection Protection Act, the obligation to work from home is increased. Employees now also have an obligation to take advantage of home office offers if it is privately possible.
Merkel: It is better to bundle forces
"There is no getting around it: We have to slow the third wave of the pandemic and stop the rapid increase in infections," said Chancellor Angela Merkel at the beginning of the parliamentary deliberations in the German Bundestag last Friday. “In order to finally achieve this, we have to bundle the strengths of the federal, state and local governments better than before. That is why we are drawing the necessary conclusions. "
"I am very aware that there are tough restrictions," Merkel said. Especially with regard to the much-discussed exit restrictions, she emphasized that these are of course not a panacea for the virus. However, curfews could be effective in combination with other measures such as strict contact restrictions. “Fighting a pandemic is about reducing contacts. The aim is to reduce the number of people visiting in the evening from one place to another - incidentally, also by using local public transport ”. The advantages of this measure outweigh the disadvantages.
"We have done it before"
"All measures have a single goal: to get our whole country out of this terrible phase of the steadily rising number of infections, the filling intensive care units, the shockingly high daily number of corona deaths, for the good of all, and this sooner than if we continue our way dragging this time through somehow, ”explained Merkel. “We've already done it once. We can do it again now. "
In their current Podcast Chancellor Merkel explains which goals are connected with the federal emergency brake.
The Federal Ministry of Health answered important questions to the nationwide emergency brake.
The draft of a fourth law for the protection of the population in the event of an epidemic of national proportions had that cabinet decided on Tuesday, April 13th - as a formulation aid for the parliamentary groups of CDU / CSU and SPD in the German Bundestag. The Fourth Civil Protection Act contains a supplement to the Infection Protection Act. The Bundestagpassed the law on Wednesday April 21st. On Thursday, April 22nd, theFederal Council dealt with it. It is Friday, April 23rd in force kicked.
The federal states make known when the nationwide emergency brake will be used in which districts or cities. The Robert Koch Institute publishes the 7-day incidence for all rural and urban districts on its dashboard.
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