Berlin (dpa) – According to experts and state politicians, the federal government’s draft for the new Corona legal basis from March 20 is insufficient.
“The principle of hope rules,” said the chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, to the newspapers of the Funke media group and the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. The agreed basic protection is better than nothing. But: “Politicians have successfully talked about further, sensible measures.” The German Foundation for Patient Protection also considers the change in the Infection Protection Act to be insufficient to ensure the protection of all vulnerable groups, such as those in need of care who live at home and not in homes. Several federal states had also criticized the plans.
The draft regulates what the federal states can further prescribe if, as agreed, all far-reaching protective measures are dropped by March 20th. Mask requirements in nursing homes, clinics and local public transport as well as testing requirements in nursing homes and schools should then be possible. The mask requirement on long-distance trains and planes should also remain nationwide. If the corona situation worsens on site, it should be possible to impose some stricter conditions there: Mask requirements, distance requirements, hygiene concepts as well as vaccination, convalescence or test certificates (3G/2G/2G plus) – but only if the respective state parliament has previously agreed dealt with it. Other measures, such as contact restrictions, were removed from the catalog of protection options at the insistence of the FDP, although the further development of the virus is unclear. Originally, however, she had wanted to delete everything except for the mask requirement.
Criticism from the federal states
Several federal states had criticized the coalition compromise, including state leaders from the Berlin traffic light parties. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), for example, considers it “grossly negligent if the federal government hands over effective instruments for emergencies without need”. His Lower Saxony colleague Stephan Weil (SPD) had said: “You don’t throw away the fire extinguisher if it’s still burning.” Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) was also critical. After all, the number of new infections is increasing again, albeit with a mostly milder course. There are now over 1,300 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
Bremen’s Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD) was a little more positive: “In the current situation, I think that’s a responsible regulation,” he told the “Welt”. “However, if the pandemic situation changes fundamentally in the future and there is a risk of the healthcare system being overloaded across the board, the federal legislature would have to make further improvements.”
Focus on personal responsibility
The government and coalition MPs opposed the criticism. The new hotspot regulations take into account the wishes of the federal states to order stricter measures if necessary, said State Secretary for Health Sabine Dittmar (SPD) of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. And the FDP health expert Andrew Ullmann told the newspaper that in the future personal responsibility and protection of vulnerable groups would be the focus.
The head of the Patient Protection Foundation, Eugen Brysch, does not see it that way: Unlike home residents, the amendment to the law does not provide for the protection of people in need of care living at home, he told the Funke newspapers. The coalition forgets millions of people in need and their families.
Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) praised the draft, but called for changes in details “to rule out misunderstandings and different interpretations,” as he told the “world”. “In particular, the intervention thresholds for the hotspot measures must be precisely defined in the law.” The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, argued similarly: “But then there must also be hard data, such as the occupancy of intensive care units by corona cases, so as not to give the impression of arbitrariness,” he told the editorial network Germany.