Berlin (dpa) – An end to the corona lockdown in Germany is not in sight for the time being, given the further spread of the more contagious virus variants.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) spoke out in favor of a strategy of opening up various areas in packages and at the same time urged caution. Numerous daycare centers and schools in ten federal states started on Monday. In order to safeguard this opening step, educators and teachers should probably move up in the sequence of vaccinations. In addition, more tests should help to bring the coronavirus back under control.
In view of the concerns of a third corona wave, Merkel again pleaded for a cautious strategy. Opening steps would have to be coupled with increased tests and introduced wisely, said Merkel, according to participants in online deliberations of the CDU presidium. According to Merkel, she sees three areas for which packages of an opening strategy have to be put together: personal contacts, schools and vocational schools as well as sports groups, restaurants and culture.
Chancellery chief Helge Braun (CDU) said after this information that the mutations of the corona virus unfortunately destroyed the good development in Germany. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the proportion of the British variant was 20 to 25 percent. “You have to assume that this proportion will continue to grow.” Opening steps have become more complicated due to the advance of the mutations.
After about two months of closure and emergency care, daycare centers and elementary schools partially reopened in ten federal states. From the government’s point of view, patience is now required. Even with these partial openings there is “a considerable increase in contacts and therefore also in transmission risks,” said Seibert. Nobody wants to take back openings. “What we open, we want to hold out.” But it is now important to first look very carefully to what extent the school openings have changed the infection rate.
In these days, according to the information from the CDU presidium, a working group with the head of the chancellery Braun and the heads of the state state chancelleries will meet on the subject of openings. The next federal-state consultations planned for March 3rd are to be prepared. From March 7, according to the previous plans, shops should be able to reopen if there are no more than 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants for seven days in regions. On Monday, however, the seven-day incidence rose from 60.2 to 61.0. She has been over 57 for more than a week.
The nationwide seven-day R-value of 1.10 on Sunday (previous day 1.07) shows that the virus is spreading again: 100 infected people infect 110 people. The chairman of the Prime Minister’s Conference, Michael Müller (SPD), told the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” (Monday): “An R value well below 1 and a falling utilization of intensive care medicine will also be important criteria for the next easing steps. ” According to Müller, culture and gastronomy should be able to partially open if the federal states remained “stable over several weeks” below the incidences of 35 or 50. As early as March 1st, market gardens, garden centers and flower shops should be allowed to open in Bavaria, as Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) announced in Munich.
After opening in Lower Saxony and Saxony, elementary schools and daycare centers began operations or expanded in another ten countries. Lessons should take place alternately with half classes or in full operation with fixed groups.
Primary school teachers and daycare teachers are expected to be given higher priority when it comes to vaccinations. According to the Federal Statistical Office, around one million people affected are likely to move from group three (higher priority) to group two (high priority). For this, the vaccination ordinance had to be changed, Spahn had said in the ARD. According to his earlier statements, group two should come into play from April. Many chronically ill people and people over 70 are also gathered here. How much later group three will come up with a move forward by the teacher is speculation and cannot be said, said Spahn’s spokesman.
Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) advocates sending mobile vaccination teams to daycare centers and schools on ZDF. The Baden-Württemberg Minister of Social Affairs Manfred Lucha (Greens) announced on ARD for his country that from this Monday, educators, teachers and doctors “and everyone from the medical field” would be vaccinated.
The German Foundation for Patient Protection fears that the very old and seriously ill could fall behind when it comes to vaccination if group two is expanded. The health expert of the Union parliamentary group, Karin Maag, warned in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (Monday) against “very difficult considerations” with such a step.
According to Seibert, the Corona cabinet also dealt with the planned expansion of the offers for rapid tests. From March 1, all citizens should be able to be tested for the corona virus by trained staff free of charge. This should be possible in test centers, practices or pharmacies.