Anyone returning from a holiday abroad must show a negative corona test from Monday night – otherwise the airline must refuse to take them with them.
This emerges from the entry regulation that was passed on Friday morning, said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) on Friday in Berlin. The entry into force of the regulation was postponed again in order to give tour operators and airlines sufficient time to ensure a corresponding test offer on site.
However, he has no illusions that the obligation to test for those returning to travel could be a “game changer”: “The situation is too serious for that.”
The seven-day incidence nationwide rose to 119 on Friday, at the beginning of March it was still around 70. The incidence varies between 18.7 (district of North Friesland) and 521 (district of Greiz in Thuringia). The Robert Koch Institute recently reported 21,573 new COVID-19 cases and 183 new deaths. 3260 COVID patients were in intensive care treatment in hospitals on Thursday, 51 more than the previous day.
Twelve million corona vaccine doses administered
“If this continues, we run the risk that the health system will reach its limits in the course of April,” warned Spahn. The effect of the vaccination is diminished by the increasing incidences, said the minister. He pointed out that ten percent of the population would have received at least the first vaccination on Friday morning. Twelve million vaccine doses have now been administered, on Thursday around 279,000 people in Germany were vaccinated, around 77,000 of them received their second vaccination.
Spahn appealed to the federal states to include all members of priority group 2 in the vaccination campaign “as flexibly as possible”. This includes people over the age of 70, previously ill people and members of particularly exposed occupational groups. The vaccination campaign will continue to pick up speed. In the course of April alone, 15 million vaccine doses are expected, more than was available in the entire first quarter. The vaccination ordinance “makes pragmatism possible” emphasized Spahn and appealed to the federal states to further reduce the storage of vaccines in view of the foreseeable deliveries from vaccine manufacturers.
According to RKI President Professor Lothar Wieler, there are “clear signals” that “this wave of infection is stronger than the first two waves”. “We have difficult weeks ahead of us.” The number of infections has risen particularly sharply at the moment among working people as well as in schools and daycare centers. The virus variant B.1.1.7. go hand in hand with a 30 to 70 percent higher risk of infection, reported Wieler. This also makes it even more difficult for health authorities to understand chains of infection.
Spahn calls for the implementation of the corona emergency brake
Spahn admitted that the resolutions and steps taken by the Prime Minister and Chancellor at the beginning of March may have gone beyond what would have been necessary with regard to health protection. Nevertheless, individual federal states such as Berlin have announced that they do not want to take back opening steps even with incidence values of over 100 opening steps. Spahn criticized this sharply. He expects the emergency brake to be pulled in the federal states where it is necessary: ”This was unanimously agreed by the federal government and the federal states at the beginning of March.”
The Minister of Health was pleased that a nationwide offer of over 10,000 test centers had now been created. Ideally, citizens in living environments such as companies, schools, daycare centers or nursing homes should be offered a test twice a week. “There are enough tests,” said Spahn.
Wieler announced a publication by the RKI for the coming week in which the institute wants to outline a prognosis for the further course of the pandemic. According to the RKI boss, it looks “not that bad” for the current year: “If vaccination offers are used consistently, we can control the pandemic”.