Despite the rise in the number of coronavirus infections, Germany is abandoning some rules of national protection. The basis was the decision of the Bundestag on Friday (March 18, 2022) on the amending law on protection against infection.
This means that the 3G rule (vaccinate, cured, tested) no longer applies to passengers on Deutsche Bahn trains. However, wearing a face mask is still mandatory on local and remote public transport.
The 3G rule in the workplace has also been abolished. In the future, companies must be able to assess the risk situation themselves and define preventive measures as part of their occupational health concept. The principle of 3G in the workplace and in transport has been in force in Germany for four months.
Maintain restrictions on hotspots
The Bundestag’s amendment to the law limits the possibilities for local authorities to operate. This means that in states, only a few general requirements for protection in everyday life, such as masks and tests, can be implemented in facilities designated for vulnerable groups, such as nursing homes and hospitals. On the other hand, far-reaching restrictions on regional “hotspots” can only be imposed if the national parliament decides that the level of infection is particularly critical.
wave of criticism
The chief ministers of the federal states strongly criticized the new regulation. Regardless of party affiliation, they accused the German government of acting irresponsibly alone on the issue of pandemic policy. All counties now want to take advantage of the two-week transition period required by law. This means that current pandemic restrictions, such as the requirement to wear masks in stores and schools, or rules for 2G and 3G, may not remain in effect until April 2. However, this does not apply, for example, to restrictions on contacts or the limits of event participants.
Bavaria takes its own way
In Baden-Württemberg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, current restrictions on the obligation to wear masks in stores will be maintained until April 2, and in Berlin until March 31. On the other hand, Bavaria wants to go its own way and temporarily not apply federal law. According to the Minister of Health of Bavaria, Klaus Holechek, no measures will be taken for the period after April 2.
The head of the German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB), Rainer Hoffmann, has called for a speedy withdrawal of the watered-down legislation related to the pandemic. “We have a record number of cases, and the situation could worsen again in the fall,” Hoffman told newspapers from Funk Media Group. “I am calling for a rapid tightening of the Infection Protection Act, as well as regulations on health and safety at work during the pandemic. We cannot risk the workplace becoming a hotbed of contamination again.”
According to the head of the German Teachers’ Union, Heinz-Peter Medinger, the rapid lifting of compulsory masks in many federal states will open schools to infection. “I am very concerned about the speed with which many federal states are abandoning the obligation to wear masks in schools – despite the fact that we are still in the middle of a wave of Omikron infections and the number of infections is rising again,” Meidinger told RND Editorial Network. “I hope all this doesn’t confuse us.”
Slight decrease in infections
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the infection rate is now 1,708.7, down from 1,735 on Saturday. According to the data of the health authorities, the absolute number of new infections reported within 24 hours reached 131,792 injuries, compared to 260,239 the previous day. In addition, 49 more deaths were recorded. The total number of recorded deaths due to the Corona virus in Germany has risen to 126,916.
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