Berlin Masks, vaccinations and tests – the traffic light row relies on this triad in its canopy protection plan for fall. What sounds simple in principle, however, fuels fears of further regulatory chaos in the economy.
“The plans are simply not feasible,” said Ingrid Hartges, Handelsblatt, CEO of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga). “We can’t keep checking our visitors to see if they are vaccinated, recovered or tested.”
They are to be exempted from wearing masks in restaurants or at parties under certain conditions – for example, if the vaccination is not more than three months old. This is what the plans for the new Infection Protection Act by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Marco Buschmann (FDP) envision.
“But you can’t tell from the guy at the restaurant what their status is,” says Hartges. “Like when he goes to the bathroom – should staff always ask if he’s vaccinated?” She said. “It does not make sense.”
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Lauterbach defended the plans for the ARD Tuesday night against criticism that the new rules could not be put into practice. For example, the plan is that “you can immediately see in the Corona-Warn app by the color of the vaccination certificate whether it is a fresh vaccination or not,” said Lauterbach.
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Hartges, on the other hand, noted a significant shortage of workers. “Each additional task is a burden on the business and means additional work,” she said. He fears that the sales losses from the last pandemic winter will repeat themselves.
The new Corona has been ruling since fall
– Masks are mandatory for air and long-distance public transport
– Masks are compulsory in hospitals and care facilities
-> Exceptions: If the mask prevents healing or for other medical reasons and in personal rooms. Also for children under 6 years old.
– Obligation to provide evidence of testing in hospitals and care facilities
-> Exceptions: for newly vaccinated and recovered persons, as well as for residents and patients
– Masks are compulsory on local public transport
– The requirement of a mask in generally accessible interiors
-> Exceptions with proof of 3G: during recreational, cultural or sports events, in recreational and cultural facilities, catering and sports
– Mandatory testing in community settings such as nurseries, orphanages or detention centers
– Mask requirement in schools
-> Requirement: Only for children from the fifth school year and employees, if necessary for classroom activities
– Ordering a minimum distance of 1.5 m in public places
– Mandatory hygiene concepts for companies, venues and events
– Fixed maximum number of people for parties in public indoor spaces
Several federal states expressed similar criticism at the health ministers’ conference on Tuesday. The Chair of the Conference of Ministers of Health (GMK), the Minister of Health of Saxony-Anhalt, Petra Grimm-Benne, demanded that the exceptions to the requirement for masks be re-adjusted after the meeting.
They are difficult to understand and difficult to control. In addition, there must be country-wide criteria determining when certain measures apply. Hartges called for “nationally harmonized threshold values” on this point.
Regulatory jungle warning
Plans for the new anti-infection law provide that the federal states may tighten their measures depending on the pandemic situation. This also includes the obligation to wear masks indoors. However, the federal government leaves the criteria open, which is also criticized by the HDE industry association.
“Of course, the obligation to wear masks is an effective measure, but it still cannot be automatic for fall and winter,” said HDE CEO Stefan Genth of Handelsblatt. “Here, too, there must be clear, science-based criteria for when such a measure will take effect and when it will fail again.”
Only nationwide criteria for the application of the corona measures would ensure that “we do not slide back into a regulatory jungle that is beyond the scrutiny of customers and retailers.”
It needs “objectively explainable, transparent criteria and then high, comprehensive compliance reliability”. One way to do this may be the federal government sewage assessment. The use of hospitals and intensive care beds is also an indicator.
The government’s plans were criticized not only by business, but also by doctors. For example, there is a concern that exceptions for newly vaccinated people could be interpreted as a call to vaccinate every three months.
Lauterbach has already tried to counteract this impression on the ARD. It’s medically pointless, advise against it. One would be happy if enough people were vaccinated at all. Vaccination too often “will not happen”.
Up to 60 million vaccinations
The president of the Association of General Physicians, Ulrich Weigeldt, even called for the rule to be removed from the bill. “The fact that the legislator, under the current state of the Infection Protection Act, provides for differentiation of fully vaccinated people according to how long has passed since the last booster dose is not good news and needs to be carefully considered,” Weigeldt told Handelsblatt.
“Never give the impression that vaccination is losing its value after just three months.” That would be “sand in vaccination campaign modes.” Nobody is doing themselves a favor with such a small scale of regulation.
The vaccination campaign has virtually stopped, but is expected to regain momentum again in the fall and winter. According to current calculations, the Central Institute of Health Insurance (ZI) assumes that, depending on the recommendations of the Permanent Vaccination Committee (GI), up to 60 million people should be vaccinated. This is the case when Stiko recommends a fourth vaccination to adults under 60 years of age. Calculations are available for Handelsblatt.
Currently, Stiko only recommends a fourth vaccination for people aged 70 years and older and at risk groups. Leading EU authorities have called for a second booster injection for everyone over the age of 60. Health Minister Lauterbach has been pressing the committee for weeks to extend the recommendation, and has received criticism for it.
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“Vaccination is a medical matter and should not be constantly influenced by politics,” Dominik Stillfried told ZI boss in an interview with Handelsblatt. “This worries the population in Germany and ultimately damages the willingness to vaccinate.” He trusts the recommendation of Stiko, which is constantly adapted to the current state of knowledge.
Based on the current recommendation, ZI assumes that a maximum of 30 million people will be vaccinated from September. Of these, 20 million are the third, fourth or fifth vaccines for people over 60 years of age and ten million for people under the age of 60 for the third immunization.
Lauterbach explains vaccination recommendations for younger people
In mid-July, Lauterbach commented on the fourth corona vaccination in an interview with “Spiegel” and said that if you want to enjoy the summer without risking the disease, “of course he would recommend vaccination to younger people in consultation with the family doctor.” people. ”The minister now refrained from doing so.
“I didn’t say: Fourth vaccination for everyone,” said an SPD politician. “I never said that all younger people should get vaccinated now. This is just wrong. ” He only pointed out that a clear message is needed for different age groups, such as those under the age of 60.
In his opinion, patients at risk should not wait for adapted vaccines. However, for younger people, it may make sense to “wait a little longer” and treat them with new vaccines.
More: “The rule of thumb should be to wear masks indoors,” Lauterbach outlines Corona’s autumn plan