Combating the pandemic: countries insist on uniform corona rules

Status: 10/22/2021 1:50 p.m.

Despite the increasing number of infections, Health Minister Spahn wants to let the epidemic emergency run out at the end of November. The heads of government of the states are now pushing for nationwide uniform corona rules.

The Prime Ministers are calling for a nationwide uniform legal framework to secure corona protective measures. This would have to be created by the Bundestag by November 25, said the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Conference, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet, after consultations in Königswinter near Bonn.

The background to this is the plan by Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn to let the current epidemic emergency of national scope expire at the end of November. This is the basis for regulations and central corona measures in Germany. It is true that the states also have the option of maintaining such measures through resolutions of their state parliaments. However, several prime ministers fear a “patchwork quilt”.

Legal bases for contact tracing and AHA rules

Laschet said that general legal bases should apply to tracking contact details or the so-called AHA rules. “The states need this option”, but this must be regulated by federal law. The Prime Ministers are concerned that if the incidence increases, the legal basis will suddenly be missing, said Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller.

In the opinion of the country leaders, there are several options for a legal basis. So an extension of the current epidemic emergency could be decided. However, a transitional arrangement or a resolution for individual questions is also possible. The new Bundestag and the federal government still in office would have to act here so that there is a basis for action by the federal states.

“We have to be careful”

On the basis of a nationwide uniform legal framework, the state governments currently have “a flexible system that is appropriate to the respective situation for the necessary protection against infection,” said Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil. Sooner or later, higher corona occupancy numbers in the intensive care units can be expected again, according to the SPD politician.

“We have to remain cautious in order to get through the autumn and winter well,” said Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder. “Without a legal basis from the federal government, the citizens would be defenseless.”

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