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Mitigation in Germany is not on the horizon

Due to the ever-increasing number of infections, there is no general easing of coronavirus requirements in Germany at the moment. In consultations between the federal and state governments today, it has become clear that access restrictions that have been in place for months must remain in the workplace, on buses, trains, restaurants and stores.

In order to deal with a much larger number of people infected with the most contagious variant of the virus Omicron, practical questions must also be clarified – a priority for conducting more accurate PCR tests and for tracing chains of infection for sensitive areas. The Federation in the Bundestag called for the rapid submission of a record of vaccinations.

Schulz: No course correction needed

Prior to the tour with the prime ministers, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had emphasized that it was not necessary to correct the course. “In any case, it is certainly not appropriate to loosen the rules across the board in the middle of the Omicron wave,” he told Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The rules introduced in November meant that the wave reached Germany later than its European neighbors.

He cited, for example, the 2-G-Plus rule for restaurants — that is, if only vaccinated and recovered people get, they also need a negative test or evidence of a booster vaccination. In transportation and businesses, 3G access also applies to those tested.

Preliminary papers for the round of federal states essentially stipulated “continuation of previous measures”. The President of the Conference of Prime Ministers, Hendrik Fust of North Rhine-Westphalia, and other state leaders made similar statements.

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Wüst also called for preparing a path back to normalcy. An exit strategy must be prepared for the time when it is certain that the healthcare system will not be overburdened by Omikron and critical infrastructure will remain stable.