Possible relaxation of Corona measures thanks to tests and vaccinations in view

by Thorsten Koch

Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasized that the Corona measures could be relaxed, depending on Covid tests. Rapid tests should be a topic at the federal-state conference on March 3rd, said Merkel. There may be regional rules because of the immunization campaign and opportunities for more self-tests. It is important to remain flexible, Merkel said. Rapid tests should be on sale in pharmacies in about 14 days. Merkel gave special hope for openings in personal contact restrictions as well as in the education and economic sectors. According to press reports, there should be package solutions for contacts in the personal area, for schools and vocational schools as well as for sports groups, restaurants and culture. Due to the spread of more contagious variants of the Coronavirus, this is only conceivable in steps.

Special rights for those vaccinated?

General rights for vaccinated people are currently not possible, said Merkel: “As long as the number of people vaccinated is so much smaller than that of those who are waiting for the vaccination, the state should not treat the two groups differently.” If there is too much reluctance to vaccinate, “there could be openings and entrances only for vaccinated people in certain areas.” A European Corona vaccination pass could be available in about three months, in order to allow for tourism to resume. Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Günther said in this regard that future vaccination ID card holders will only be allowed to travel inland once everyone had been given an offer to immunize.

More vaccinations planned

Meanwhile, Merkel has announced an accelerated vaccination campaign. In a week, 7.5 to 9.5 million doses of the various vaccines are to be inoculated throughout the Federal Republic. In addition to the vaccination centers, this also requires general practitioners to fill gaps. So far, more than 5 million vaccinations have been confirmed. Merkel noted that there was an acceptance problem with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. However, experts said the vaccine could be trusted. So far, the vaccines are scarce. Citizens cannot yet choose “with what to be vaccinated”.

In the meantime, Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier has commented on his own concept for openings. According to this, the ability of the health authorities to work, or the utilization of intensive care beds in hospitals, should play an important role. The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder has spoken out in favor of caution with regard to future easing. “Reason and caution” are necessary, Altmaier emphasized. “Politicians must not lose their nerve now,” said Söder. This also applies to the tiered plans of the Federal States. Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, on the other hand, has expressed confidence in an exit from the hard lockdown.

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