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Corona: Federal Council passes new quarantine rules

Corona: Federal Council passes new quarantine rules

After the Bundestag, the Bundesrat has now also approved the new corona measures: The quarantine rules are being changed. Experts had previously expressed sharp criticism of the decision. The new quarantine rules for corona infected people and contact persons can come into force. On Friday, the Federal Council unanimously approved an ordinance that creates a legal framework for this. It had only been decided by the Bundestag the evening before. In the special session, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) emphasized that Germany had the chance to largely leave the pandemic behind this year. For this, however, the vaccination rate must increase, which is only possible with a general obligation to vaccinate. However, the omicron variant will initially lead to a significant increase in the number of infections. A new virus variant is expected in autumn. The new rules stipulate that contact persons of corona infected people who have been vaccinated three times no longer have to go into quarantine. This also applies to people who have just been double-vaccinated or who have recently recovered. In addition, shorter quarantine times are made possible in the event of infections in order to prevent the collapse of personnel in important care areas when the number of infections increases sharply. In future, infected people or contact persons who do not meet the requirements for quarantine exemption can be freed after seven days with a PCR test or a certified rapid antigen test. Experts take a critical view of this because quick tests are too error-prone. The medical organization Marburger Bund also complained that newly vaccinated and recently recovered contact persons do not even have to be in quarantine if they live with infected people. “We fear that infections will then be passed on,” said the association’s chairwoman, Susanne Johna, on the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”.

Lauterbach: Pandemic arrived at “interface”.

Lauterbach said in the state chamber that the pandemic had arrived at an “interface”. You’re in your third year. This raises the question of whether it will be possible to defuse the pandemic in such a way that an endemic situation with only sporadic outbreaks and few deaths is reached – or whether this opportunity will be missed. “We have to seize this opportunity and we have the means to do so. We have the means to largely end the pandemic in Germany this year.” Lauterbach again appealed to all citizens who are not yet protected to be vaccinated or boosted. “I am of the opinion that we can demand from the unvaccinated that they accept a vaccination with almost no side effects, which is not scientifically disputed, that they also accept this vaccination.” The minister warned: “If we all claimed that we didn’t need it or that we knew better or didn’t want to participate or that we had a different understanding of the state, then we would end up in chaos.”

Minister of Health: Basic immunization can be achieved through compulsory vaccination

In his view, the necessary basic immunization of the population can only be achieved through general vaccination, said Lauterbach. He believes that a majority of the population will follow this path. The health minister stressed that no one should be forced to take any particular vaccine. He also got the inactivated vaccine Novavax. On February 21, Germany will receive a first delivery of 1.75 million doses. Lauterbach said that everything was prepared for the implementation of compulsory vaccination. Vaccination centers remain open and there is enough vaccine to triple vaccinate everyone. “We are going into the submission here with very high costs, although vaccination is not yet mandatory because we want to be ready when it actually comes to that.” Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) called for realistic solutions for the mandatory vaccination for health workers from mid-March. There should be “no partial collapse”. He doesn’t believe every headline. “But if there are projections of up to 25 percent of practice closures or reductions, then that scares the citizens right now.” One should not “exaggerate”.

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