Corona measures in Germany – what does the Infection Protection Act regulate and who can change it?


After Angela Merkel’s (CDU) apology and the cashing in of the so-called Easter rest, the Chancellor had struck sharper tones in an interview with the journalist Anne Will. The Chancellor believes that tough crackdowns are necessary in view of the third wave and the associated increase in the number of infections. She criticized planned easing steps in the federal states and appealed to strictly implement the emergency brake and other resolutions to contain the corona pandemic.

At the same time, she promised that the federal government could take the initiative itself, for example by changing the Infection Protection Act. You will not watch until there are 100,000 new infections a day, said Merkel. She received approval from Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder.

March 28, 2021: Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) as a guest on the ARD talk show “Anne Will”. (Wolfgang Borrs / NDR / dpa)The day – Merkel’s message to the countries After Angela Merkel’s interview with Anne Will: What message did the Chancellor have and why did she go “all in” in the confrontation with the countries regarding the corona resolutions?

What does the Infection Protection Act regulate?

The Infection Protection Act regulates nationwide how contagious diseases, including Covid-19, are to be combated. It came into force on 01/01/2001 and has since regulated which diseases in the event of suspicion, illness or death and which laboratory diagnostic evidence of pathogens are notifiable.

The Infection Protection Act gives the federal government extensive leeway to combat pandemics. According to the Bundestag resolution, Germany is currently in an epidemic situation of national importance. Therefore, on the basis of the Infection Protection Act, the federal government has the option, among other things, to set prices for important medical products, to prevent their export and to issue regulations for hospitals and pharmacies “to maintain healthy care”.

The Infection Protection Act also gives the federal states powers. You can decide what exactly you do: Everyday restrictions such as the closure of shops and restaurants, contact restrictions and the closure of communal facilities are a matter of the country. “Measures must be suitable, necessary and appropriate (principle of proportionality)”, it says in the Corona action guidelines of the Infection Protection Act. The heads of government of the federal states agreed on a consistent restriction concept on May 6, 2020. The threshold was set at a 7-day incidence of more than “50 newly reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants”. According to the law, they are obliged to take action if these figures are exceeded – but how exactly is not specified.

      (Picture Alliance / dpa / Michael Kappeler) (Picture Alliance / dpa / Michael Kappeler)Lawyer on the Infection Protection Act – “Legal authorization is something normal in a constitutional state” The reform of the Infection Protection Act is a step forward, even if the law does not anticipate every conceivable state measure in the corona pandemic, said constitutional lawyer Christoph Möllers in the Dlf. The AfD criticism of the term “authorization” in the law is nonsensical.

In November 2020, the 3rd Civil Protection Act specified under which conditions and preconditions protective measures against the spread of Covid-19 can be taken. Of the Above all, the draft amendment aims to provide better legal protection for restrictions on fundamental rights. In addition, the Bundestag should take on more specific responsibility for restrictive measures.

    (dpa-Bildfunk / Bernd Thissen)Coronavirus – Dortmund (dpa-Bildfunk / Bernd Thissen)Corona measures – what the amendment to the Infection Protection Act is about
The Bundestag and Bundesrat have decided to change the Infection Protection Act. The law regulates, among other things, which fundamental rights restrictions are permissible to contain pandemics. An overview.

Who can change the Infection Protection Act?

If the federal government wants to have more options to implement measures nationwide, the Infection Protection Act would have to be changed. The federal government could specifically write such measures into the law – as a supreme order. But he could also disempower the states and issue regulations himself. In any case, the Infection Protection Act would have to be changed. But you shouldn’t forget the Bundestag, said Dlf journalist Katharina Hamberger in the Dlf podcast “Der Tag” on March 29, 2021. The Bundestag plays an important role if you want to change the Infection Protection Act. An amendment to the Infection Protection Act must also be approved by the Bundesrat after the Bundestag. The countries could refuse. A process that could take a long time.

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Corona measures Germany Infection Protection Act regulate change


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