In future, employees of day care centers, schools and nursing homes will have to inform their employers whether they have been vaccinated against coronavirus. The Bundestag passed a series of amendments to the Communicable Disease Prevention Act in Berlin on Tuesday. The obligation to provide information about vaccination status is intended to allow unvaccinated workers to be posted to areas with less human contact. It will remain in place as long as the so-called “epidemic status” lasts. It was recently extended by the Bundestag until November 24.
Employers have called for mandatory information on vaccination status for other sectors and companies as well. However, Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) rejected this proposal. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, about 61 percent of the German population is currently fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and about 66 percent have taken at least one dose of the vaccine. Unfortunately, this is not a sufficient level to achieve so-called herd immunity, when those who cannot be vaccinated are also protected.
Hospitalization rate a key criterion for assessing the epidemic situation
The amendment to the Infectious Disease Prevention Act also changes the criteria for assessing the epidemic situation. In future, the number of hospital admissions of Covid-19 patients per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, the so-called hospitalization rate, will be decisive. Other indicators that the states will be guided by when deciding on possible restrictions include the number of new infections, the number of available intensive care unit beds and the number of vaccinations. The law on the prevention of infectious diseases does not specify concrete figures. This is a matter for the federal states to decide.
At the same time, the Bundestag approved a regulation according to which persons entering Germany will have to present a certificate of vaccination or recovery status or a current negative coronavirus test result.