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Global Economy

The federal and state governments agree on the opening plan

During their consultations on the Corona situation, the leaders of the federal and state governments agreed to withdraw most of the restrictions. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the Prime Ministers agreed on a three-stage plan that is intended to gradually reduce the restrictions, as Scholz said after the switching conference.

From March 20th, all “more profound protective measures” are to be lifted if the situation in the clinics permits.

"We can look ahead with more confidence"

After the consultations with the heads of government of the federal states, Scholz spoke of a “very special day” in the pandemic. "We can look ahead with more confidence than we have been able to in recent weeks." Germany came through the omicron wave better than neighboring countries. It has probably reached its apex in the meantime.

With the measures taken by the federal and state governments, health and life were protected and a lockdown could be prevented. "Many citizens feel the same way as I do: Somehow, after all these two long years, we deserved that things somehow get better again," said the SPD politician. "It looks a bit like that's exactly what we have in front of us."

Three-step plan by March 20th

The protective measures that have been in place so far are to be dropped in several stages. As a first step, private meetings for vaccinated and recovered people should be made possible again without restrictions. As soon as an unvaccinated person takes part, contact restrictions apply again.

In retail, the 2G rule is to fall nationwide; the obligation to wear a mask will remain. The use of FFP2 masks is recommended unless required by state law.

3G for gastronomy and hotels

In a second step, taking into account the situation in the hospitals from March 4th, access to catering will be made possible for vaccinated, recovered and people with daily tests (3G regulation). Overnight stays can also be taken advantage of by those who have been vaccinated, those who have recovered and those who have been tested. The 2G Plus rule applies to discotheques and clubs.

For indoor events, a maximum occupancy of 60 percent of the respective maximum capacity is permitted, whereby the number of 6,000 spectators may not be exceeded. For outdoor events, a maximum occupancy rate of 75 percent is permitted, whereby the number of people may not exceed 25,000.

End of restrictions by March 20th

In a third step – from March 20, 2022 – "all more far-reaching protective measures" should then be dropped. In addition to contact and access restrictions, the obligation to work from home is also to be phased out.

However, employers can continue to offer home office, especially in open-plan offices. However, the mask requirement should apply beyond March 20 indoors as well as on buses and trains.

Scholz is committed to compulsory vaccination

Despite the easing planned for spring, it should not be forgotten that there will also be autumn and winter again, said Scholz. The pandemic is not over yet. Despite all the optimism, one should not become careless. Therefore, it remains right to prepare the legislation for a general vaccination requirement.

Scholz stuck to the goal of mandatory corona vaccination. "It will be necessary precisely when the weather starts to get colder again." Most recently, the legislative process in the Bundestag had stalled.

Giffey calls for action for the countries

In the opinion of Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey, the federal states also needed options after March 20 to react to corona outbreaks. This is a major concern of the federal states in order to remain able to act, said the SPD politician. The states would get this "minimum set of tools," said Giffey, referring to Scholz, who promised that the legal basis for the states would be created in good time before March 20th.

North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst also called for this legal basis for basic corona protection measures even after the expiry of the far-reaching corona rules. "We have to combine openings and mindfulness," said the CDU politician. The country is in a new phase of the pandemic. But: “If the Bundestag does not act actively, then all protective measures will expire on March 20th.”

The pandemic is not based on the calendar. Therefore, not all measures should be thrown overboard. "All countries therefore agree that we need basic protection to secure the openings," said Wüst.

objections to the resolutions

However, there were also objections to the joint decision. Six federal states expressed their reservations in so-called protocol declarations. Baden-Württemberg, for example, insists on extending the existing legal basis for protective measures by three months. Bavaria is behind the decision to vaccinate in old people's and nursing homes, but requires a quick clarification of open questions. Saxony spoke out in favor of reviewing the partial vaccination requirement and also sees the prerequisites for a general vaccination requirement not yet being clarified.

Söder: "Bayern set the trend"

In general, Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder was very satisfied with the decisions made after the consultations. "Bavaria has set the trend, our agreed timetable is now being used throughout Germany," said the CSU boss after the end of the video conference. It is the right balance of caution, freedom and hope.

Söder emphasized that Bavaria was able to place two additional things: "We urgently need an emergency package after all measures have expired, especially for the schools. This is now the unanimous opinion of the federal states." At the request and request of Bavaria, there is now special attention here so that the final exams of the students can also be carried out well and there is no risk of infection in the schools.

Pleased with changed quarantine rules

In addition, Söder was satisfied that the quarantine regulations should be changed when traveling. Families with small children in particular, who have not yet been able to be vaccinated, would be “greatly disadvantaged” with the current regulation when planning upcoming vacation trips.

It is not up to date to drive to an area that currently has a lower incidence than Bavaria and Germany, but is still on the federal list of high-risk areas.

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