Berlin.After months of lockdown with the toughest restrictions on fundamental rights in decades, many Germans look to Israel with hope. Since Sunday, more than three million Israelis who have already been vaccinated or have recovered from an infection have been allowed to travel to fitness studios, hotels, the theater or soon abroad. The ticket for the first big steps back to normal is a “green vaccination pass”. This is saved and shown in the “Ramzor” (German traffic light) app on the smartphone.
This spectacular step is made possible in Israel because the corona vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer obviously prevents more than 90 percent of the virus from being transmitted to other people. This comes from an as yet unpublished observational study by the companies and the Israeli Ministry of Health. If the numbers are correct, it could be a turning point in the pandemic. Now there are increasing voices in Germany calling for a swift lifting of bans on contact and restricted rights of freedom for vaccinated people.
Will vaccinated people get their rights back in Germany?
Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht is in favor and expressly refers to Israel. “I can very well imagine hoteliers or restaurateurs saying that access is possible for vaccinated people,” said the SPD politician to the broadcaster “ntv”. Bundestag Vice-President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) also argues as follows: “Since it now seems certain that there is hardly any risk of infection from vaccinated people, the fundamental rights restrictions for these people must largely be lifted.”
What do doctors think of quick freedoms for vaccinated people?
The SPD health politician and epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach does not see the Israeli research results as a possible way out of the harsh pandemic regime. A quick return of civil liberties is “absurd”, Lauterbach told our editorial team. “It will take until the middle of the year before we have even vaccinated the risk groups.” Anyone who is already talking about extended rights for vaccinated people is leading “a ghostly debate”. He also believes that the protective effect of the Astrazeneca vaccine will be less than that of Biontec.
The chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, positions himself more openly. It should of course not be the case “that the immune system can immediately drop all masks”. Because then you could no longer control the mask requirement of the non-vaccinated in a busy shopping street. “But going to restaurants and the cinema, flying without annoying smears and traveling in the EU without quarantine restrictions – that would be possible,” said Montgomery.
Can virus mutations destroy hope for rapid relaxation?
It remains to be seen whether the vaccines really work as well with all mutations as the Biontech vaccine and prevent further infections by and large. Nevertheless, with a view to the federal-state summit planned for March 3, preparations for a gradual exit from the corona lockdown are in full swing. Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed package solutions for three areas of society in combination with more corona tests in the CDU presidium on Monday, according to participants. Merkel named personal contacts, schools and vocational schools as well as sports, restaurants and culture.
Are there enough rapid tests for loosening at all?
Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) gave this impression. He wanted to have free rapid tests distributed through pharmacies and drugstores on March 1st. But nothing will come of it for the time being. At a meeting of the Corona cabinet, Chancellor Merkel pushed through that the start should be postponed to March 8. The rapid test strategy is then to be linked to the step-by-step plan for easing, which is to be adopted at the summit on March 3. According to the government, Germany has so far reserved 800 million rapid tests. Self-tests for personal use are to be approved soon.
Could the corona warning app make a comeback as a vaccination pass?
The Corona-Warn-App cannot be used as a substitute for a vaccination certificate for reasons of data protection. Use is voluntary. Some politicians are therefore placing more hope in a new app called “Luca”. This is intended to simplify contact tracking. Instead of signing up in contact lists when visiting a restaurant or concert, visitors could use it to scan a QR code in the future. The data is transmitted digitally to the offices, but remains encrypted for the users of the app and the operator. The app was developed by a start-up company and the hip-hop band “Die fantastischen Vier”.
When are theater and concert visits possible again?
The culture hopes for the return of spectators. Theater directors and cultural organizers presented a joint protective paper on Monday. It was developed by 20 scientists. It provides for the return of viewers in several stages up to full utilization for contact management and antigen tests.
© Mannheimer Morgen, Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021