Coronavirus in Germany. Important changes on Covid restrictions. Several states are changing their Covid restrictions for isolating people who have tested positive for the coronavirus. The decision of the state authorities is not in line with the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. The new regulations are already in force in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein. They will come into force in Bavaria starting November 16th.
Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein have decided to abolish the mandatory isolation requirement for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus. A joint statement by the authorities of these four federal states announced the change of regulations. This means that people with Covid no longer have to stay in isolation for 5 days. The statement said, “New rules are needed to deal with a pandemic that is moving into an endemic phase.”
Beginning Wednesday, November 16, changes to the Covid restrictions will also apply in Bavaria. The requirement for people who test positive for coronavirus to isolate, will no longer apply there too. However, Bavaria imposes a condition for Covid patients: they must wear a mask when leaving the house. The Bavarian Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek (CSU), anounced the changes. He also emhasized that in Bavaria, the recommendation “If you are sick, stay at home” is still maintained.
Local authorities criticized by the Federal Minister of Health
The decision of the state authorities is not in line with the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin and the Federal Minister of Health. According to the RKI, Persons who test positive should follow a 5-day self-isolation and if they have Covid symptoms only leave their homes after testing negative.
Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) criticized the decision of the Länder to abolish mandatory isolation. “This is happening at the wrong time and is not approved by the federal government,” Lauterbach said. He added that there were no medical grounds to justify lifting the isolation requirement. “There are still about 1,000 deaths a week from the virus, and the country is facing a winter wave with possibly more infectious variants of the virus,” he warned.