The day after the decision, the implementation should follow: Angela Merkel (66, CDU) first made her government statement in the Bundestag on Thursday morning. The Chancellor said militantly:
“We have it in hand. We are not powerless! ”
She knows that it is a renewed effort for all citizens to have to fight against the spread of the coronavirus again and to accept restrictions: “Winter will be difficult,” she said. “But it will end.”
While the Chancellor explained the previous day’s decisions in her almost 30-minute speech, she also talked about the mask requirement, Christmas and the hope that the first vaccine will be approved in Germany soon.
Merkel on …
► … the mask requirement: “Wearing masks lowers the risk of infection, it is a protection.” However, this does not offer “any guarantee that there will be no infection” if there are not at least FFP2 masks. You have a “duty to inform, we must not lull people into a false sense of security.” In the end, the mask “plus distance is the very best”.
► … Christmas: Everyone has to “figure out” with themselves whether the maximum of possibilities at Christmas (celebration with up to 10 people) has to be exhausted. In addition, Merkel proclaimed the “week of protection” BEFORE Christmas. Members of the family could isolate themselves first and then celebrate with the older family members.
► … the vaccine hope: “It is possible that vaccines will arrive before Christmas, and we have agreed that these vaccines will then be offered to people who work in the medical and nursing fields”. The problem cannot be solved “immediately”, but there is “light at the end of the tunnel”.
► … the restrictions in Germany: “We don’t see what a so-called lockdown actually is and what it actually includes, we can consider ourselves lucky – but – I want to say that – we are now seeing clearly falling numbers in some of our neighboring countries, in a very fast pace. ”
► … the effect of the partial lockdown: “Today we could determine: 40 percent fewer new infections, the ‘dramatic exponential growth’ has stopped. But that is NOT the all-clear and NOT a reason for loosening up discussions. ”Because:“ Now the number of cases has stagnated at a high level, a level that is far too high. ”So the worst“ has been prevented so far. This is a first success. But it is not yet a sustainable success ”.
► … on the suggestion to isolate risk groups: “That’s 27 million people. That’s why nobody should pretend that you can protect vulnerable groups in a country when there are 27 million people and that you just somehow take them out of the public domain. That won’t work with us and I don’t think that’s ethically justifiable either – to have said that CLEARLY. ”
Resolutions are to be implemented on December 1st
The day before, Merkel had given the seven-hour Prime Minister’s Conference a positive balance. “We came to a good end under difficult conditions,” said Merkel. The exponential increase in new infections was broken – a partial success. We could “under no circumstances be satisfied with that,” said the Chancellor after a long evening.
The goal is now to push the seven-day incidence back below 50, so that the health authorities can understand the chains of infection again. She repeated this request in the Bundestag on Thursday.
A big and difficult task: it’s currently at 140 – and it’s only going down VERY slowly.
The resolutions passed by the Prime Minister’s Conference are to apply from December 1st (Tuesday) – but first the state parliaments have to approve them in a quick run. That is why politicians are meeting in several federal states today.
► In NRW, Baden-Württemberg and Brandenburg, among others, the heads of government will inform their parliaments about the new measures on Thursday morning, and the Corona cabinets will meet in Hesse and Bavaria. A corona summit is scheduled for Friday in Saxony and on Saturday in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Lower Saxony state chief Stephan Weil (61, SPD) appears before the press at 11:30 a.m., Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (53, CSU) at 2 p.m.
That happens in the corona hotspots
For corona hotspots with a seven-day incidence of more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, even stricter measures than before can apply. Which these are is at the discretion of the countries. The incidence value of more than 200 currently affects the city of Berlin (as one unit) and 62 other districts.
And that means: There are now only five days left to prepare new, tightened measures:
Berlin’s Mayor Michael Müller (55, SPD), who was also head of the Prime Minister’s Conference on Wednesday in the Chancellery, said in the evening: “We are in a situation where life and death are really at stake in many areas.”
The Senate will hold a special session on Thursday. Müller announced a longer discussion about the implementation of new measures. In Berlin, tough rules are now threatening, the corona numbers have been consistently high there for weeks.
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The next Prime Minister’s Conference is scheduled to take place on December 2nd.
Chancellery Minister: Restrictions possible until March
Chancellery Minister Helge Braun (48, CDU) said on Thursday that citizens might have to be prepared for restrictions until March.
“There are difficult winter months ahead of us. That goes until March, ”he said in the RTL program“ Guten Morgen Deutschland ”. With the increasing number of vaccinations in the spring, it will slowly become easier to keep the situation under control.