Increasing number of corona infections
Berlin Senate wants to expand 2G regulation
The number of new infections has risen sharply recently, and the fourth wave of the pandemic has reached the capital. Politicians would like to forego a new lockdown. She wants to increase the pressure that people get vaccinated.
Unvaccinated people in Berlin have to be prepared for stronger corona restrictions. The Senate plans to apply the 2G rule to other places and events. 2G are in preparation, said State Secretary for Health Martin Matz (SPD) on Sunday the evening show of the rbb. “We now have to help the hospitals and we have to better protect all people, especially the non-vaccinated. It therefore boils down to the fact that we will need more regulations with 2G access.” Matz did not comment on specific details.
Currently in Berlin, operators of restaurants or event organizers, for example, can decide for themselves whether they allow access to their interiors for vaccinated, convalescent and tested people (3G) or only for vaccinated and convalescent people (2G). In the case of 2G, there is no mask requirement.
Previously, the SPD state chairwoman Franziska Giffey had already spoken out, who wants to be elected mayoress in December. “We must do everything we can to avoid another lockdown, especially the closure of schools and daycare centers.”
Jarasch calls for a “healthy winter strategy”
The leader of the Greens in the House of Representatives, Bettina Jarasch, made a similar statement. She considers another lockdown in Berlin to be avoidable, but calls for a long-term strategy for the corona pandemic. “We are in a different situation than a year ago due to the increased vaccination rate, but on the other hand we are only at the beginning of winter,” Jarasch told the DPA news agency.
A lockdown and preventive closings are not necessary. “What we urgently need, however, is a ‘healthy winter strategy’ that includes a whole package of protective measures that people can rely on.” Because what is particularly difficult for people is a lack of predictability and reliability. “That is why we now need a package of measures that will last until spring and that does not have to be constantly changed.”
Giffey for extending the 2G rule
Giffey therefore demanded: “In view of the increasing number of infections, I advocate the obligation to apply and expand the 2G rule in places and at events where many people come together.”
With the so-called 2G rule, access is restricted to vaccinated and convalescent people. According to Giffeys, exceptions must remain for children and those for whom there is no vaccine or who cannot be vaccinated. “For everyone else, the following should apply: Unvaccinated people cannot, for example, have access to cultural institutions, clubs, fitness studios, restaurants, cinemas or even visits to hospitals or nursing homes.”
Jarasch was a little more cautious. “I assume that we have to make 2G the rule and 3G the exception.” Expressly excluded from this is everything that relates to basic services, such as local public transport or shopping in the supermarket. “That must remain possible without vaccinations and tests,” said Jarasch.
Saxony has already introduced this stricter 2G regulation, Austria intends to adopt it in the coming week.
FDP is critical of this step
FDP parliamentary group leader Sebastian Czaja was critical: “Instead of playing off vaccinated people against unvaccinated people and promoting the division of society, we have to take away people’s fears. The first step would be to offer antigen tests free of charge to everyone again – that gives people a piece Freedom and self-determination back. ” In addition, there is a need for clear and scientifically sound guidelines for the so-called booster vaccination and more low-threshold vaccination offers.
Mandatory consultations for certain professions
The leader of the Greens in the House of Representatives appealed to the federal government to reintroduce free citizen tests. “The fact that we again have free tests nationwide would also be a prerequisite for 2G +, i.e. additional tests for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered.” It is also important to keep three corona tests per week in the schools, as was customary immediately after the holidays in Berlin.
Jarasch is critical of the compulsory vaccination, for example for nursing professions. This would be a significant encroachment on fundamental rights and something that could only be decided at the federal level. “At the state level, it has to be a matter of exhausting all the possibilities we have to continue educating,” said Jarasch. For certain professional groups, she could imagine compulsory counseling on vaccinations.
The number of new infections has more than doubled in less than three weeks. In the past seven days, the Berlin health authorities reported 195.3 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, as the Senate Department for Health announced on Sunday. In the districts of Reinickendorf, Neukölln, Mitte and Spandau, the respective value is now well over 200.
According to the Senate, 11.5 percent of the intensive care beds in the city are occupied by Covid 19 patients. The corresponding traffic light in the country’s warning system is yellow.
Vaccination centers are experiencing a greater influx again
At the same time, testing must also be ramped up in outpatient care and in nursing homes. “We already have a compulsory test for unvaccinated nurses, but it can also make sense here to test the vaccinated as well.”
Meanwhile, the demand for corona vaccinations in the Berlin vaccination centers Messe and Tegel Airport is increasing. “We have been registering a significant increase in vaccinations for a good week in the vaccination centers, but also in the mobile vaccination teams,” said the Berlin President of the German Red Cross, Mario Czaja, of the rbb’s evening show. A large part of the appointments is therefore related to so-called booster vaccinations, the refresher for people who have already been fully vaccinated.
“At the fair, the staff is now being increased further so that we can vaccinate not just 2,000 people a day, but 3,000 at relatively short notice,” said Czaja. The Messe vaccination center is operated by the Maltese. The Catholic relief service announced on Wednesday: “The hut is full again and we are experiencing a booster boom in our vaccination center.” Unvaccinated people are also still very welcome.
Two thirds of all Berliners fully vaccinated
The Red Cross operates the Tegel vaccination center. If demand continues to rise, according to Czajas, additional staff will also be deployed at the former airport. In addition to the vaccination centers, there are vaccination stations and mobile offers such as the vaccination bus. Vaccinations are still possible from general practitioners.
With 67.3 percent, according to the Senate, around two thirds of Berliners are fully vaccinated against the epidemic. The rate only increased by 2.7 percentage points within a month, the proportion of first vaccinations even slower.
Broadcast: evening show, November 7th, 2021, 7:30 p.m.