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BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Regulations regarding mask requirements are emerging in preparation for the renewal of corona protection in the fall. “The effectiveness of the masks for indoor people is unquestionable,” Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschman (FDP) told the Funke media group papers (Saturday). “Therefore, a certain form of wearing the masks indoors will surely play a role in our concept.” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who advises Buschmann on the new rules in the Infection Protection Act, is essentially in favor of mask specifications. The SPD politician defended his recommendation that younger people could also have a second booster vaccination.
Buschmann said: “We have to take very seriously what awaits us in the fall and winter.” He is in a good mood “that we will have a concept at the end of the month, which we will then discuss with the federal states in August, and in September we will introduce an amendment to the Infection Protection Act through parliament.” The FDP politician stressed: “We are not wasting time”. The proposal will create clear and understandable rules that “protect fundamental rights, ie are proportionate”. “We agree in the coalition that there will be no more blockades, school closings and curfews.” These are “inadequate instruments in the third year of the pandemic.”
The corona provisions in the anti-infection law, which were severely shortened in spring, mainly under pressure from the FDP, expire on September 23. They provide the legal basis for national conservation measures and identify possible instruments. General requirements for masks at events or while shopping were eliminated in early April. Masks are still mandatory nationwide on trains and long-distance planes. Länder regulate this for buses and trains in local transport, as well as for doctors’ offices and clinics. A further increase in the number of infections is expected in the cooler season after the summer wave.
Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek welcomed the fact that Buschmann had finally described the effectiveness of the masks, especially indoors, as “unquestioned”. “It took long enough to come to such a conclusion,” a CSU politician told a German news agency on Saturday. The traffic light coalition must now submit a draft. It is crucial for the Länder to be able to take all necessary protective measures quickly, effectively and legally. “We have to get off this track with the sleeping cars,” demanded Holetschek.
In the face of much criticism, Lauterbach defended his campaign for further booster vaccinations not only for the elderly in their 60s and 70s. The seven-day incidence rate would likely be 1,500 to 2,000 with unreported cases, he wrote on Saturday on Twitter. “It is therefore not a bad thing if younger people with a lot of contact should also consider a fourth vaccination after consulting their GP. Fourth immunization is better than infection. ‘
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the official seven-day incidence on Saturday at 752.7 – 719.2 new infections reported per 100,000 inhabitants over the seven days the day before. However, the incidence does not give the full picture, mainly because not all infected people perform PCR tests, but only these are included in the statistics.
According to the ministry, 6.2 million people, or 7.5 percent of the population, have now received a second boost with a fourth injection, which is usually necessary. The Standing Committee on Immunization (Stiko) has so far only recommended a second ‘legal high’ for people over 70 and some other risk groups. Lauterbach has long been advising on booster vaccinations since the age of 60, and specialized EU bodies recently came out in favor.
CSU politician Stephan Pilsinger criticized Lauterbach’s recommendation for youth. “Such a statement against the recommendations of the competent Permanent Vaccine Committee and the European Medicines Agency is a slap in the face of anyone who believes in an understandable, evidence-based pandemic policy,” he told the German editorial network. FDP health expert Andrew Ullmann told the Rheinische Post: “Politicians’ medical recommendations should be issued very carefully.” / Sam / sku / DP / zb