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COVID-19, German cabinet approves nationwide emergency break system

The federal government in Germany has approved an ’emergency brake’ system forged to combat rising case numbers of infection. The decision as to what measures apply to what state were first decided by the heads of federal state but shall now be legally enforced by the government. The change must now be passed by parliament.

This replace the patchwork system that in place that had states ‘open’ up despite rising cases of infection and death. An example would be the the Federal state of Saarland which became the first to declare an end to the lockdown on the 6th of April 2021. This is despite an increase in the number of infections. This decision came in addition to the approval of outdoor catering, cinema, theatres and fitness studios being allowed to open too. <<WE WROTE ABOUT IT HERE.>>

The changes to the German Infection Protection Act must now be passed in the parliament, the Bundestag.

The new ‘federal emergency break’ means that any region in any state with a high incidence of covid-19 cases would be legally required to implement uniform set of rules set out by the Federal government.

However, the timeline for enacting the new regulations remains unclear. 

“Let’s finish it this week,” Ralph Brinkhaus, CDU parliamentary leader, said in the German media on Monday.

Merkel’s say on the new directive?

Merkel again brought to light that Germany is suffering through a third wave that is spreading more rapidly than expected. She pointed out recently that the EU might have to start producing it’s own vaccine to be able to counter attack the virus. << we wrote it here>>

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She also added that the Health care system has taken quite a few blows due to the pandemic and that their cries must not be ignored. A better system to avoid new infections must be put in place.

What rules will be applied in the new restriction?

  • Gatherings of people from different households will be limited. Contact with one person outside of the household is permitted, with a maximum of five people being allowed together. 
  • Retail stores, including hardware stores, must close. Supermarkets and drug stores may remain open. 
  • Theatres, museums, zoos, public pools and gyms must remain closed. 
  • Restaurants are limited to takeout, and touristic travel in hotels is not allowed.
  • Overnight curfews to be enforced between 9P.M and 5A.M in cites and districts that cross the 100-cases threshold with only essential services retaining ‘freedom’ of movement.

Source: BILD, DW