The SPD, the Greens and the FDP have come to an agreement on a draft law on measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. These are to remain in effect until March next year. The parties plan to reinstate free coronavirus testing and introduce a mandatory 3G rule in the workplace.
Germany’s outbreak status will expire on November 25
The goal of the three parliamentary groups is to “protect as many people as possible, especially in the autumn and winter months,” as SPD parliamentary group vice-chairman Dirk Wiese explained. For this reason, free testing for coronavirus should be reinstated in their view. In addition, 3G should be made mandatory in workplaces. Wiese also mentioned subsidies for hospitals that care for patients with COVID-19.
“In recent days, after intensive discussions among representatives of the FDP, the Alliance 90/Greens and the SPD, we have come to the conclusion that, given the progress of the vaccination campaign, there are no longer grounds for prolonging the epidemic emergency,” Wiese told Tagesspiegel.
Politicians from the SPD, FDP and Green Party against renewed lockdown and school closures
According to Wiese, there should be a legal basis for mandatory testing in certain elderly care facilities. In addition, “a monitoring system should also be established for booster vaccinations.”
The bill does not provide for another extension of the epidemic state, which will expire on November 25, but in the opinion of politicians this only means that measures to combat the pandemic will again have to be decided by the Bundestag.
The bill rules out the possibility of reintroducing lockdown, including school closures. According to the bill, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP want a “nationally valid catalog of possible protective measures” to be included in the Infection Protection Act.
Here’s what the SPD, Greens and FDP are planning:
- reinstatement of free coronavirus testing
- Compulsory 3G at the workplace
- subsidies to hospitals for the care of COVID-19 patients
- compulsory testing in certain elderly care facilities
- new measures to take effect by March 19
- lockdowns and school closures are ruled out
Explicitly listed are social distance orders, mandatory wearing of masks, provisions for 3G rule in public places, mandatory hygiene concepts and collection and processing of personal data of visitors, among others. The list of measures available to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Germany does not include lockdowns or school closures.
The new catalog is “limited to measures that may be reasonable and appropriate in the current phase of the fight against a pandemic,” the bill reads. Their use is to depend on the pandemic situation prevailing in individual states or even specific regions.
Special social support also in 2022
The SPD, the Greens and the FDP also want easier access to social security systems to be guaranteed until March 31, 2022.
The idea is that “those who are still economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can continue to receive the necessary support as easily and quickly as possible in the future,” – the draft reads.
Special regulations for the sick child care benefit are expected to continue into 2022.
The bill is expected to be tabled in parliament this Thursday and then passed in a special session a week later. The new measures are expected to be in effect until March 19.