Plans of the traffic light partners: pandemic emergency is apparently to expire

Status: 10/27/2021 8:45 a.m.

The SPD, Greens and FDP apparently agree that the Corona emergency in Germany should end. According to reports, however, the parties have also agreed on transitional rules in order to be able to react further to the development of the pandemic.

A possible end to the pandemic emergency has been discussed in Germany for days. In order to enable the countries to take further corona measures such as mask compulsory and 2G or 3G rules, the traffic light parties now want to submit joint proposals for the period after the “epidemic situation of national scope” has expired. In the morning, Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt, SPD parliamentary group vice Dirk Wiese and FDP parliamentary group manager Marco Buschmann want to comment on this.

SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich had announced that the possible future partners of a traffic light coalition were under discussion about new regulations in the Infection Protection Act. These should enable the countries to continue to react to corona challenges. Another extension of the epidemic situation by three months is not intended.

Distance requirements, requirements for schools, higher vaccination rates

According to information from the editorial network in Germany, the key points provide for a transitional arrangement that will run until the end of March 2022. Accordingly, paragraph 28a of the Infection Protection Act is to be changed.

As reported by the AFP news agency, referring to the key issues paper, the following measures are to be made possible for the federal states, among other things: the continuation of the mask requirement, access restrictions to public facilities and events with 2G or 3G rule, distance requirements “primarily” in indoor public spaces, processing of contact details of customers and guests as well as requirements for the operation of educational institutions such as schools.

In addition, the traffic light parties want to extend the pandemic-related special regulations on child benefit “into the year 2022,” continues AFP. This regulation provides for 30 instead of ten children’s illness days for parents, and twice as many for single parents. According to the report, the parties are also making further efforts to increase the vaccination rate.

Epidemic emergency until the end of November

“The state of emergency must not become permanent. We have to come to a new normal, and that as quickly as possible,” said FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “The German Bundestag has to decide things again – and not the federal government with extensive authorization.” The federal states would have the opportunity to “react very precisely and moderately to regional infections”.

The “epidemic situation” was first established by the Bundestag in March 2020 and has been repeatedly extended by Parliament since then. The determination of the emergency enables the federal government and the state governments to order central corona measures in a simplified way without the consent of parliaments. It will expire on November 24 if the Bundestag does not extend it any further.

According to the Infection Protection Act, the federal states then also have the option of determining the need for further corona measures via their state parliaments, so that an expiry would not automatically mean an end to measures. In the countries, however, there is a warning against a “patchwork quilt” and the associated lack of acceptance.

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