Just a few days ago it seemed that Germany would slowly begin to lift the restrictions. Health Minister Spahn himself came out with a proposal not to extend the state of epidemics of national importance in Germany. However, there appears to be no agreement on this from the heads of government of the individual federal states. They are demanding the introduction of uniform coronavirus rules across the country also after November 25, 2021. This would involve extending the epidemic state in Germany.
Spahn knew in advance about the federal states’ plans
It also turns out that Spahn knew in advance about the plans of the federal states’ prime ministers and his statement about lifting the epidemic state should be seen more as a PR ploy.
In a letter to the leaders of the SPD, Greens and FDP dated October 15 (available to BILD), Spahn writes: “The epidemiological situation confirms the further necessity of these measures this fall and winter.” This is “absolutely necessary so that, in particular, the legal basis of Section 28a of the Infection Protection Act can continue to be applied by states and municipalities.”
Laschet in favor of extending outbreak status
To be able to fight a coronavirus pandemic, caution and appropriate mechanisms are still needed, said the head of the Conference of Presidents of Ministries Armin Laschet (60, CDU) on Friday. The federal states need “a legal basis so that low-threshold, basic protection measures can also be applied in the coming autumn and winter months.”
The epidemic state would be extended beyond November 25
This means that the Bundestag would have to actively extend the “national epidemic state” beyond November 25. This is because it provides the basis for introducing, for example, contact restrictions or assembly bans.
In March 2020, the Bundestag first passed legislation on the epidemic situation – and has been regularly extending it ever since.
If every state has to make decisions on its own after November 25, “it will lead to disruptions,” Laschet said.
Neither the states nor the federal government want the restrictions lifted
The vice president of the states, Michael Müller (56, SPD), also opposed the lifting of the epidemic condition, charging that there would then be a risk that there would be no legal basis for any measures that might still be necessary.
Both Laschet and Müller referred to the number of coronavirus cases, which has been rising again since late September. The Bundestag will have to create a uniform federal basis, Laschet said.
This means that politicians in Germany do not really want the restrictions lifted – neither the states nor the federal government.
However, according to Müller, a uniform federal basis does not necessarily mean a prolongation of the epidemic state in Germany. Instead, a transitional solution or the introduction of single measures could be introduced.
The Bundestag meets on Tuesday for its inaugural session and could decide on further regulations by the end of November, regardless of the formation of a new government.