After Saxony and Berlin, Bavaria, one of Germany’s largest provinces, was banned from most areas of community life from Tuesday due to the virus spreading more quickly.
The basis for protection against the fourth wave of the coronavirus epidemic in Bavaria became the so-called 2G rule, named after the initials of two words, the German equivalent of vaccination and healing (geimpft, genesen). This rule states that only those vaccinated and confirmed to have the infection can be kept in a closed community, even if the unvaccinated have a new negative virus test.
This standard is valid as of Tuesday in hospitality and tourism. The norm in practice is to ban unvaccinated restaurants and hotels.
This was the case for many cultural, sports and leisure facilities, such as gymnasiums, sports facilities, theatres, cinemas, museums, zoos, swimming pools, solariums, tourist trains and bus services, as well as discos and clubs. Service providers, regulators or operators are required to verify the vaccination certificate or infection control certificate and the identity of guests and visitors.
Children under the age of twelve are exempt from this restriction. Those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons can be accepted by submitting a medical certificate and a negative PCR test.
Also from Tuesday, the rule is that a mask rated FFP2 must be worn wherever the 2G rule applies, unless it is possible to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres. This means that in restaurants, for example, guests can only take off their mask while seated. In many other areas, FFP2 mask use has been mandatory for weeks, including in retail, public transportation and religious ceremonies.
Also new, but not mandatory, but voluntary is the so-called 2G plus rule, under which vaccinated and infected individuals can enter only after submitting a new, rapid negative antigen test. This can be requested by guests of the operators of discos, clubs and other places of entertainment. In turn, guests can have fun in such places without a mask.
Bavaria is one of the German provinces most affected by the fourth wave. And according to Tuesday’s data, there are also five regions where the seven-day infection rate rose to more than a thousand, which means more than a thousand people have been infected in the past seven days.
According to the Robert Koch Institute for Public Health (RKI), the seven-day prevalence of infection in Germany as a whole is 312.4, just below the peak set at 213.7 the previous week. The strength of the fourth wave is indicated by the fact that the index value did not exceed 200 during the first three waves.
According to RKI data, the virus was detected in 32,048 people in one day, bringing the number of infections recorded since the beginning of the epidemic last spring to 5077,124. 265 deaths were reported in connection with Covid-19, bringing the number of victims to 97,980.
Parties to form the next federal government – the Social Democratic Party (SPD, the Greens and Liberals) (FDP) – are preparing for a series of new measures, with the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) voting on their proposals on Thursday. – Unlike the first three waves, regional governments responsible for defense cannot order general closures that paralyze the process, but the freedom of non-vaccinators can be severely restricted under the 2G rule.
A milder version of the 2G rule is the 3G rule, which allows unvaccinated people to remain in a closed community if they have a new negative result.
Under the planned new system, a 3G rule will be mandatory in the workplace, meaning that unvaccinated people will only be able to show up at their workplace if they test negative for a virus for no more than 24 hours. It also qualifies for a rapid antigen test, which will again be available for free at tens of thousands of testing stations across the country starting Saturday. It also takes back the requirement that the employer must allow everyone to work from home unless being at work is absolutely necessary.
The package that amends the Communicable Disease Control Act also includes the need to enforce the 3G rule on local and long-distance public transportation.
The catalog of possible measures to prevent the spread of infection also includes the possibility of imposing restrictions on direct contact of people with each other at risk of infection, in both public and private places. Provincial governments also have the option to ban or restrict recreational, cultural, and sporting events, as well as assembly, access to health facilities, the sale and consumption of spirits, and the operation of institutions of higher education.
The law needs to be rewritten because the exceptional legal order introduced at the start of the pandemic, last March, that repealed the federal and provincial governments to take steps to protect residents by decree without legislative approval, expires on November 25. Provided basis for disease control measures so far. (MTI)
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