New corona rules: economy fears rule chaos again

Berlin Masks, vaccinations and tests – the traffic light government is relying on this triad in its corona protection plan for the fall. What basically sounds simple, however, feeds the concern of further regulatory chaos in the economy.

“The plans are simply not feasible,” said the general manager of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga), Ingrid Hartges, the Handelsblatt. “We cannot constantly check our guests whether they are vaccinated, recovered or tested.”

These people are to be exempted from the obligation to wear masks in restaurants or at events under certain circumstances – for example if the vaccination is not older than three months. This is what the plans for a new infection protection law by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Marco Buschmann (FDP) envisage.

“But you can’t tell from the guest in the restaurant what status they have,” says Hartges. “Like when he goes to the bathroom – should the staff always ask if he’s vaccinated?” she said. “That’s nonsense.”

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

Lauterbach had defended the plans on Tuesday evening on ARD against criticism that the new rules could not be checked in practice. For example, it is planned “that you can immediately see on the Corona-Warn-App from the color of the vaccination certificate whether it is a fresh vaccination or not,” said Lauterbach.

>> Read also: The Omicron vaccine should come in October – and bring the turnaround in sales for Biontech

Hartges, on the other hand, pointed out that there was a significant shortage of employees. “Each additional task burdens the business and means additional work,” she said. She fears that the sales losses from the past pandemic winter will be repeated.

The new Corona rules from autumn

Several federal states expressed similar criticism at the conference of health ministers on Tuesday. The chairwoman of the Health Ministers’ Conference (GMK), Saxony-Anhalt’s Health Minister Petra Grimm-Benne, demanded that the exceptions to the mask requirement be readjusted after the meeting.

These are difficult to understand and difficult to control. In addition, there must be nationwide criteria for when certain measures apply. Hartges called for “nationally uniform threshold values” on this point.

Warning of regulatory jungle

The plans for the new Infection Protection Act provide that the federal states can tighten the measures depending on the pandemic situation. This also includes the obligation to wear masks indoors. However, the federal government leaves the criteria for this open, which the trade association HDE also criticizes.

“Of course, the obligation to wear masks is an effective measure, but there must still be no automatism for autumn and winter,” said HDE general manager Stefan Genth of the Handelsblatt. “Here, too, there must be clear, scientifically based criteria as to when such a measure will take effect and when it will fall again.”

Only nationwide criteria for the application of corona measures would ensure “that we do not slide back into a regulatory jungle that is inscrutable for customers and retail companies”.

It needs “objectively explainable, transparent criteria and then a high, comprehensive reliability in compliance”. The wastewater evaluation brought into play by the federal government could be a way to do this. The utilization of hospitals and intensive care beds is also considered as an indicator.

The government’s plans were criticized not only by business but also by doctors. For example, there is concern that the exceptions for newly vaccinated people could be interpreted as a call to be vaccinated every three months.

Lauterbach has already tried to counteract this impression on ARD. That is medically nonsensical, he advises against it. One could be happy if enough people were vaccinated at all. Too frequent vaccination will “not happen”.

Up to 60 million vaccinations

The chairman of the General Practitioners’ Association, Ulrich Weigeldt, even called for the rule to be removed from the draft law. “The fact that the legislature, according to the current status of the Infection Protection Act, provides for a differentiation between fully vaccinated people, depending on how long it has been since the last booster, is not good news and should urgently be reconsidered,” Weigeldt told the Handelsblatt.

“You should never give the impression that a vaccination loses value after just three months.” That would be “sand in the gears of the vaccination campaign”. No one is doing themselves any favors with such a small-scale regulation.

The vaccination campaign has come to a virtual standstill, but is expected to pick up again in autumn and winter. According to current calculations, the Central Institute for Statutory Health Insurance Physician Care (ZI) assumes that, depending on the recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (ZI), up to 60 million people should be vaccinated. This is the case when Stiko recommends the fourth vaccination for adults under 60 years of age. The calculations are available to the Handelsblatt.

The Stiko currently only recommends the fourth vaccination for people aged 70 and over and risk groups. Leading EU authorities have called for a second booster shot for everyone over 60. Health Minister Lauterbach has been pushing the committee for weeks to expand the recommendation, and has also received criticism for this.

>> Read also: Pfizer on a shopping spree: This is how the pharmaceutical giant wants to grow with the corona billions

“Vaccination is a medical matter and should not be constantly influenced by politics,” said ZI boss Dominik Stillfried to the Handelsblatt. “This unsettles the population in Germany and ultimately harms the willingness to vaccinate.” He trusts the Stiko recommendation, which is constantly being adapted to the current state of knowledge.

Based on the current recommendation, the ZI assumes that a maximum of 30 million people will be vaccinated from September. 20 million of this is for the third, fourth or fifth vaccination for people over 60 and ten million for people under 60 for pending third vaccinations.

Lauterbach explains vaccination recommendations for younger people

In mid-July, Lauterbach commented on the fourth corona vaccination in a “Spiegel” interview and said that if you wanted to enjoy the summer without the risk of illness, then he would “of course recommend the vaccination to younger people in consultation with the family doctor”. These statements were understood as a recommendation for all younger people. The minister has now refrained from doing so.

“I didn’t say: The fourth vaccination for everyone,” said the SPD politician. “I never said that all younger people should get vaccinated now. That’s just wrong.” He only pointed out that a clear message is needed for the different age groups, such as for the under-60s.

In his opinion, risk patients should not wait for the adapted vaccines. With younger people, however, it could make sense “to wait a little longer” and be treated with the new vaccines.

More: “It should be the rule to wear masks indoors” – Lauterbach specifies the Corona autumn plan

source site-11