As of: 01/24/2022 7:46 p.m
No loosening, no tightening: but in the future a priority for the PCR tests. What the federal and state governments decided at their Corona summit – at a glance.
What does the decision say about tightening or easing?
The decision states that the measures in force so far should be continued. Relaxation is not expressly announced, but there is talk of an opening perspective. According to this, the federal and state governments want to develop opening perspectives “for the moment when an overload of the health system can be ruled out.” When that could be and which criteria are decisive is not mentioned.
However, in the last version of the resolution, it was added that tightening is not excluded: the development of the omicron wave will continue to be carefully observed, it is said. “If the health system is threatened,” the federal and state governments would “agree on further infection control measures.”
What will change in the PCR tests?
Because of the insufficient capacities for PCR tests, certain groups should be prioritized in the future – in the event of bottlenecks.
According to the decision, these are: the staff in hospitals, in practices, in nursing, facilities for integration assistance and people at risk of serious illnesses. Here, a suspected Covid should continue to be clarified with PCR tests. According to the paper, PCR tests should also be used for high-risk patients (elderly, comorbidity, immunocompromised patients).
The Health Minister should now work out the new test regime with his country colleagues and adapt the Corona Test Ordinance. Because many details are still open.
It is unclear, for example, whether a PCR test restriction would also affect privately paid tests, which are necessary for trips abroad, for example. It is also not clear what this would mean for the recovered status. Because only those who can prove with a positive PCR test that they have already had a corona infection are considered officially recovered.
In the run-up, there had been criticism on this point in particular. The opposition blamed Health Minister Lauterbach for the fact that the PCR test capacities were not sufficient. The Left Party spoke of an “unprecedented fiasco.”
What is changing with the quarantine and isolation rules?
Here, too, the rules are changing, among other things due to the bottlenecks in the PCR tests. In the future, the general rules for isolation should also apply to sick employees in hospitals, care facilities and integration assistance facilities. This means that isolation after a proven infection can be ended after seven days with a rapid antigen test if you have been symptom-free for 48 hours. Without a test, it ends after ten days.
Even with the quarantine of contact persons, it is now possible for this group to be tested free after seven days with a negative antigen test. Boosted are excluded from the quarantine as contact persons.
How will contact tracing be different?
In the future, priority should also be given to tracking the contact persons of infected people. To this end, “regulations that can be implemented promptly in cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute” are to be developed. Concrete rules were not decided – but are to be worked out.
What was decided for major events?
The regulations are to be standardized when major events are held. The heads of the state and senate chancelleries of the federal states should agree on a regulation by February 9th. For the time being, there will be no increased return of spectators to games in the Bundesliga and other German professional leagues.
What was decided on the subject of vaccination?
The federal and state governments announce in the shelling that they want to step up their vaccination campaign. They also call again to get vaccinated and boosted. In a protocol declaration, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse call on the federal government to examine the introduction of a vaccination register.
Does anything change regarding the recovered status?
The decision expressly mentions that changes in the vaccinated and recovered status “will be announced and justified in good time before they come into force”. The background is the displeasure with the actions of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach in the recent change in the recovered status. This was recently reduced to three months – and as a result, many lost their status.
When is the next federal-state summit?
The next meeting is scheduled for February 16 – “unless the further course of infection makes an earlier meeting necessary,” says the decision.