In the “grip of the third wave”: federal government passes emergency federal brake

At'griff der dritten welle': bundesregierung beschliebt bundesnotbremse

The situation is serious, says the chancellor. She calls for consistency and stringency. Many questions remain unanswered

The prere is growing, the cabinet has reached an agreement, questions remain, danger also, controversy is certain: the government decides on a "Federal Emergency Brake", reported the Tagesschau this morning. More bureaucratic and procedural: The Infection Protection Amendment Act has been approved by the Cabinet and is now to be passed by the Bundestag in an accelerated procedure and pass the Bundesrat.

In a nutshell, this boils down to a night curfew, contact restrictions, closed shops where the seven-day incidence value is above 100. At present, 325 counties in Germany (out of a total of 412).

Time is running out, says the trend: "Corona pre-week comparison curves continue to turn upward." More new infections are being reported: "A hefty 57 percent increase in the previous week’s comparison", according to Gersemann’s Kurzubersicht, more Corona deaths (294 latest reported case, the "seventh increase in the previous week"), a declining number of vacant ICU beds, and an increasing number of Covid 19 patients requiring intensive care treatment. Yesterday, they paid 4.625 (well over half are receiving invasive ventilation), registering a 30. day in a row with an increase.

The Intensive Care Association, DIVI, has been sounding the alarm for a long time. Its president, Gernot Marx, currently expects 50 to 100 new covid intensive care patients to be admitted every day. DIVI forecasts or. Warns that peak of patients in intensive care units is imminent. Still in April a sad "sad high point" are achieved with 6.000 people in Germany requiring treatment in an intensive care unit.

Government in a bind

These are figures whose accuracy can be judged only later. Some like the z.B. The report on new infections raises many questions, to put it mildly. As well as the equipment of the hospitals and the precautionary measures of the state have provided for a fragile ground, which has a considerable share in the critical aggravation.

The consequence is that the government is in a tight spot in the face of this development, all the more so because the vaccination campaign is not going as hoped due to systemic errors or limitations.

Now it must again be a matter of restricting the behavior of the population, and this principle is to be given greater force with the amendment of the Infection Protection Act, since countries that have so far relied on their own levies are to be brought into line with it. Specifically, a new § 28 b is to be added.

The bill is expected to be passed by the Bundestag next week. Approval by the Federal Council is not yet foreseen. However, previous changes to the Infection Protection Act were subject to approval. The new emergency brake section 28b is to remain in force for as long as a "epidemic situation of national scope" is available. The Bundestag votes on it every three months.


The article, which states that the approval of the Bundesrat is not foreseen so far, dates from last Sunday. Today it says, as written above, that the law should also pass the Bundesrat. In the meantime, this has been clarified and it has been established in the cabinet round that the critics and opponents in the countries are no longer an obstacle?

From Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Muller (SPD), for example, it was said that he was against night-time curfews. And there were jungst messages that with the effort

The transmission of the Sars-CoV-2 viruses takes place almost exclusively indoors. Outdoor transmissions are extremely rare and never lead to ‘cluster infections’ as seen indoors.

Open letter of the Society for Aerosol Research

Even judges are not convinced. The former chairman of the German Association of Judges, Jens Gnisa, was "unconvinced":

"Imposing night curfews from an incidence of 100, although courts have doubted their effectiveness, is a disrespect for justice."

In the quoted Taz-article points to another problem, the one mentioned at the beginning "Unfathomable". First of all, the well-known canon of emergency braking measures is mentioned, which is also used in the Tagesschau-Report as "foreseen decreases" emerges: Curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., staying away from businesses that do not serve daily needs, ("According to the decision, services serving medical, therapeutic, nursing or pastoral purposes as well as hairdressing establishments – in each case with a mask – were allowed to be opened"), closed gastronomy and recreational and cultural facilities, limited sports facilities. In taz-However, the article also states.

Instead of these legally prescribed measures, the federal government shall in the future also be able to order other emergency brake measures by statutory order if the incidence value exceeds 100. These mabnahmen could be more strict or less strict. In addition, the federal government could establish special rules for vaccinated and tested persons. The consent of the Bundesrat would then be required, but not the consent of the Bundestag.


So there are still some open questions. For schools, it is said, an incidence value of 200 will become mandatory. This is also controversial.

For the chancellor, it is clear that the planned changes to the Infection Protection Act are necessary "necessary". A nationwide uniform emergency brake for an incidence of 100 or more would be "overdue", the situation seriously.

The current approach and previous federal-state consultations were no longer sufficient to slow down the third wave. The pandemic response must be "more stringent and consistent" .

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