19 Dec. 2021 9:54 pm
Before Christmas, the federal and state governments will meet for new consultations. It is about tightening the corona measures against the background of the spread of the omicron variant of the corona virus. The Federal Government’s Expert Council had warned of a dramatic situation.
The federal and state governments will discuss the corona situation and how to proceed in view of the spread of the Omikron variant on Tuesday. This was agreed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) as chairman of the Prime Minister’s Conference, as both sides did on Sunday evening dpa announced in Berlin. It should be about further contact-reducing measures to protect the health system from an impending overload as a result of the Omikron wave, it said.
At the exchange between the heads of government from the federal and state levels on Tuesday afternoon, in addition to the evaluation of the first statement by the federal government’s new Corona Expert Council, preparatory measures to protect the critical infrastructure should also be taken, it said. A nationwide FFP2 mask requirement is also being discussed.
Previously, in a statement published on Sunday by the Federal Government’s new Corona Expert Council, it was said that there was a “need for action” for the next few days. The Omikron variant brings a “new dimension” to the pandemic. The Expert Council spoke out in favor of far-reaching contact restrictions:
“Effective nationwide coordinated countermeasures to control the infection process must be prepared, in particular well-planned and well-communicated contact restrictions.”
At the weekend, calls for early consultations by the federal and state governments increased. “We need a common strategy against Omikron,” said Wüst. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) said the dpathat he was very alarmed by what he was hearing about Omikron.
On Saturday, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach unequivocally ruled out a hard lockdown before Christmas. The SPD politician said on Sunday in the ARDBroadcast “Report from Berlin”:
“No, we won’t have a lockdown like in the Netherlands before Christmas here.”
He confirmed this in the picture:
“A hard lockdown now before Christmas, that I would rule out. That is clear.”
FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr reiterated the goal of avoiding a lockdown. Dürr said to ZDF:
“Sensible contact restrictions, if they were necessary, you have to look at. But at this point in time I say: no lockdown and as few contact restrictions as possible.”
In the Netherlands, a new, strict lockdown has been in effect since Sunday – due to the rapid spread of the Omikron variant. Denmark is also shutting down large parts of public life. A tightening of the corona measures is being discussed in Great Britain.
In order to slow the spread of Omikron in Germany, the federal government decided that entry from Great Britain will be drastically restricted from Monday. The UK has been classified as a virus variant area – this is the highest risk category. A two-week quarantine obligation applies to those entering the country, including those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. It cannot be shortened by negative tests.
more on the subject – Corona Expert Council of the Federal Government is in favor of contact restrictions
(rt / dpa / Reuters)