Before the Corona summit: what the federal and state governments want to decide


As of: 01/23/2022 4:57 p.m

The federal and state governments are meeting again tomorrow for the Corona summit. There should not be any easing after the first draft resolution – but there is talk of an opening perspective. What is discussed?

The initial situation:

The seven-day incidence is the highest it has ever been. On Sunday it was more than 800. A total of 85,440 new infections were reported. But in the clinics, the increasing number of infections is having a much less dramatic effect – at least so far. Example: The hospitalization rate on Saturday was 3.77. The previous maximum value in the Christmas season 2020 was more than 15. The reason for this is the omicron variant, which often ensures a milder course of the disease.

What does the expert council say?

The Federal Government’s Corona Expert Council also advised and issued a statement before this federal-state meeting. He advises maintaining the measures. But it is advocated to prepare for a further increase in the number of infections. However, this is not addressed in the proposed resolution.

Will there be tightening?

As always, Corona measures will be discussed at the meeting. In all likelihood, however, no further tightening is to be expected. The course will be continued, according to a first draft resolution of the meeting, which the ARDCapital Studio present. And Chancellor Olaf Scholz has already made it clear that he sees no reason to change course. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach and several representatives from the federal states also announced that they want to keep the current regulations.

What should change with the PCR tests?

The laboratories are overloaded given the number of infections. Therefore, according to the draft resolution, the PCR tests should in future be made available primarily for vulnerable groups and staff in hospitals, in practices and in nursing. This means that if an antigen test is positive in a patient, there should be no confirmation by a PCR test. “In the event of a shortage of PCR test capacities, the necessary follow-up testing should instead be carried out with a second monitored, high-quality antigen test,” the draft says.

Even with a red display on the Corona-Warn-App, PCR tests should be avoided – an antigen test should be carried out in a certified test center for this purpose.

According to the draft resolution, the Federal Minister of Health should work out a changed test regime with his state colleagues and adapt the national test strategy and the coronavirus test ordinance accordingly.

What might change in quarantine rules and contact tracing?

According to the draft resolution, the federal and state governments welcome the decisions that the health ministers agreed on on Saturday. Because of the sharp increase in the number of infections, health authorities should in future concentrate on contact tracing in the case of corona cases in the hospital and care sector and in integration assistance facilities for people with disabilities.

The rules for isolating sick employees in hospitals, care facilities and integration assistance facilities are also to be adjusted. The isolation can then be ended after a proven infection after seven days by a certified rapid antigen test, according to the draft resolution. For the quarantine of contact persons, a free test through a negative antigen test is also possible after seven days. Exceptions: Those who have been boosted are therefore excluded from the quarantine as contact persons.

Will vaccination play a role?

Probably yes. At the meeting, the obligation to vaccinate – both general and facility-related – should also be discussed. The latter has already been decided and is to be implemented in March. The general obligation to vaccinate, on the other hand, will not be discussed in the Bundestag until next week. The first models for this were recently known. But there will be no decisions at the summit. The first draft resolution is limited to a repeated appeal to be vaccinated. And: The federal and state governments should step up their vaccination campaign.

Who is calling for easing?

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder recently campaigned for more freedom, especially “in culture, in sports and in youth work”. Bayern will not support any tightening, he announced in the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. “Omicron is not Delta, so we cannot transfer the measures 1:1 from one mutation to the other.”

Who speaks against it?

Scholz spoke out against easing. “In any case, it is certainly not appropriate to relax the rules across the board in the middle of the Omicron wave,” he told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. “We don’t need a course correction.”

The North Rhine-Westphalian head of government Hendrik Wüst (CDU) and his SPD colleagues Manuela Schwesig from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Stefan Weil from Lower Saxony made similar statements. A signal for large-scale, general easing would be too early at the moment,” Wüst told the “Tagesspiegel”. “Around 1,500 people still die from Corona every week, and the staff in the hospitals is completely exhausted,” said Wüst.

What does the draft resolution say about openings?

According to the draft resolution, the federal and state governments want to develop opening perspectives if an overload of the critical infrastructure can be ruled out. But it is not specified.

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