New corona measures: skepticism after the federal-state summit

Status: 03.12.2021 8:00 a.m.

The new nationwide corona rules mainly affect unvaccinated people. That is not enough for leading doctors and virologists. More contact restrictions and testing obligations for vaccinated and convalescents are needed.

With yesterday’s resolutions, the federal and state governments want to increase the pressure on unvaccinated people to be immunized against Covid-19. This does not go far enough for leading representatives from medicine and science. The president of the intensive care medicine association Divi, Gernot Marx, told the editorial network Germany: “We need clear contact restrictions, currently best for everyone.”

We still don’t know enough about the new virus variant Omikron. “We cannot rule out that the vaccines may have a diminished effect,” he said. “Because of this lack of knowledge, it is imperative to be particularly careful.”

Virologist and member of the Standing Vaccination Commission Klaus Überla made a similar statement to the editorial network Germany. “It is a mistake to rule out contact restrictions for vaccinated people.” Almost half of the symptomatic infections have now occurred in vaccinated persons. “Those who are vaccinated play a significant role in the spread of the virus.”

Nationwide 2G plus instead of 2G required

From the point of view of the President of the German Medical Association, Reinhardt, further measures are necessary to protect the health system from overload. In the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” he demanded that nationwide in bars, restaurants as well as indoor sports and cultural events, 2G plus should apply – then vaccinated and convalescent people would be obliged to submit a corona test. Above all, compliance with the entry requirements must be strictly monitored and disregard must be sanctioned bindingly, warned Reinhardt.

The epidemiologist Hajo Zeeb from the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology in Bremen said some of the resolutions were difficult to implement. “It is questionable how the contact restrictions of unvaccinated people can be enforced and controlled.” He expects an increase in cases in the clinics and intensive care units for about three to four weeks. The incidence will also continue to rise for some time. “The wave won’t stop anytime soon.”

“Better late than never”

The Association of Towns and Municipalities considers the federal-state resolutions to be the right approach. “The catalog of measures comes late, but better late than not at all,” said managing director Gerd Landsberg of the “Rheinische Post”. He was skeptical about the 30 million vaccinations by Christmas. “We keep hearing that the vaccines are not yet available when they are distributed in the way doctors wanted them to be.”

The President of the German Association of Cities, Markus Lewe, told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “In many cities, however, not enough vaccine is currently arriving.”

Epidemiologist Zeeb calculated: “If we continue to vaccinate a million people a day, we will only have around 20 million by December 24th.” The number of vaccinations would have to increase to around 1.5 million per day to reach 30 million.

Feared of more aggressiveness

The police union (GdP) fears an increase in the aggressiveness of people. GdP federal chief Oliver Malchow told the dpa news agency: “We already know from the third wave of aggressive behavior not only towards the police – think of the employee at a gas station who lost his life because someone did not want to wear the mask.”

Quasi-lockdown for unvaccinated people

The federal and state governments yesterday agreed in a top round on stricter corona rules that should apply nationwide. These range from significant contact restrictions for those who have not been vaccinated and those who have not recovered to 2G regulations for visiting restaurants, cinemas, theaters and other leisure facilities. In addition, a current test – i.e. 2G plus – can be prescribed.

Even in shops – with the exception of those for daily needs such as groceries – only those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered now come. This is true regardless of the incidences.

The round also decided to significantly reduce the number of spectators for national sports, cultural and similar major events. In future, a maximum of 30 to 50 percent of the space can be used. However, there may be a maximum of 5,000 visitors indoors and a maximum of 15,000 outdoors.

According to the resolution, private gatherings in public or private spaces in which unvaccinated and unconcealed people take part are to be limited to one’s own household and a maximum of two people from another household. Children up to the age of 14 are exempt from this. The regulation does not apply to private gatherings in which only vaccinated and convalescents take part.

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