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QUARANTINE

Germany plans ‘forced accomodation’ for repeated quarantine dodgers

According to a report in 'Welt am Sonntag' several German states want to take tougher action against those who repeatedly ignore mandatory quarantine measures.

Germany plans 'forced accomodation' for repeated quarantine dodgers
A look out the window at the Moltsfelde youth detention centre in Neumünster. Photo: DPA

In Germany, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus is subject to a quarantine of two weeks. Those who are returning to the country from a risk area also have to quarantine for 10 days, although this can be shortened to five days upon receiving a negative test result.

A self-quarantine is also required for those who have come into direct contact with someone with the coronavirus, or are waiting on a test result.

In addition to high fines, in extreme cases some states are planning on forced admission to special centres, clinics or juvenile detention wards for those who don't comply with the current regulations. 

READ ALSO: Germany introduces new quarantine and testing rules for travellers from risk zones

This is already being done in individual cases, but only on the basis of judicial orders. Fines for breaking quarantine orders can also stretch as high as €25,000.

According to the report, central facilities for repeat quarantine offenders will soon be set up Baden-Württemberg

“These segregation places will be permanently controlled by a guard service,” the paper quoted a spokesman for the state social ministry as saying, who added that two clinics had already been set aside.

Germany's northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein already plans to accommodate quarantine breakers in the coming weeks on the grounds of the Moltsfelde youth detention center in Neumünster, it said, citing the local district assembly.

Beforehand, police are set to issue them a strict warning.

Brandenburg also wants to set up a central office for quarantine breakers in addition to a hospital or other “suitable facility,” the report said, citing the state's social ministry.

In Saxony, “a shelter” is currently being built for such purposes, according to the Social Ministry. Persistent quarantine breakers could also be housed “in a locked hospital or other suitable accommodation.”

Bavaria's Ministry of Health said that it is usually possible to persuade people to comply “by emphatic instruction” and by pointing out “compulsory isolation and fines.” 

As a last resort, compulsory admissions to municipalities, for example to “closed parts of hospitals” could be an option.

Berlin's health administration also did not not rule out compulsory admissions, “for example, also in a hospital,” it said.

Hamburg's social services department said that if there were to be forced admissions, options were available, but did not comment on details.

The plans come ahead of a countrywide meeting on Tuesday between Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state premiers to discuss tightening Germany's current lockdown measures in order to stem the rapid spread of the virus.

READ ALSO: Will the rest of Germany follow Bavaria's lead in tightening coronavirus measures?

 

Member comments

  1. First it will be quarantine-breakers, then it will be for no-maskers, then it will be for anti-vaxxers.
    This reminds me of a quote from the late Pastor Niemoller.
    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  2. The next headline will read ‘Germany plans to force vaccinate the entire population’. Those who refuse will be ‘accommodated’ in a ‘isolation camp’ permanently.

  3. That is long due. Anyone dodging quarantine or not wearing a mask should be put in detention and only after 5 days and negative rwsult should be let go. The sh*t we are in is because of these dodgers. If we’re sitting at home right now, it’s maşnly because of these irresponsible selfish peopie. I am sitting at home for the past year. All because of these freedom fighters.

  4. This is insanity! Facilities are being ‘built’ for quarantine breakers??? I agree 100% with the above comments from Adrian.

  5. Why is Germany using the same statistics and R numbers as when the virus first showed in the country? We’re in a different phase of the Pandemic now with more testing, etc. The fatality rate is .02% *and* the there’s a vaccine that’s being (poorly) distributed. So, for me, the fact the country is now starting to build facilities for quarantine breakers is not only ridiculous but much too reminiscent of their most recent World War behaviour.

  6. The world has a lot to say about this bit of news and it’s not helping at all to help Germany’s post world war(s) stigma. Just SEEING the words “Germany” and “detention centers” (i.e. camps) in the same sentence is terrifying. Are we honestly to believe that such a vast number of people are violating quarantine rules that there needs to be a newly built detention center to house them?? Absurd. Germany has the strictest lockdown in all of Europe (per an article on this site) because they have an inability to see any grey area. Isolate & protect the weakest and most vulnerable while allowing the healthy to live.

  7. Wise words Keri, thank you for your imput. I hope more people are awake to what it happening & the path we are headed on.

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COVID-19

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Since the start of Germany’s Oktoberfest, the incidence of Covid infections in Munich has risen sharply. Though a connection with the festival can’t yet be proven, it seems likely.

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Two weeks after the start of Oktoberfest, the Covid numbers in Munich have more than tripled.

On Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an incidence of 768.7 for the city of Munich, though updated figures for the end of the festival are not expected until later in the week. Usually, on weekends and public holidays, there is a delay in reports.

In the entire state of Bavaria, the incidence value on Sunday was 692.5.

According to Munich’s public health officer, Beatrix Zurek, bed occupancy in Munich hospitals has also increased. Two weeks ago, 200 beds in Munich were occupied by Covid patients, whereas there are now around 350.

Though a relationship between the sharp rise in infections with Oktoberfest, which ended on Monday, can’t be proven at the moment, it seems very likely, according to experts. A significant increase in Covid incidences has also been shown at other public festivals – about one and a half weeks after the start. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, around 5.7 million visitors came to this year’s Wiesn according to the festival management – around 600,000 fewer than at the last Oktoberfest before the pandemic in 2019, when there were 6.3 million.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) took to Twitter to comment on the rise in incidence in Munich during the Oktoberfest. “This would not have been necessary if self-tests had been taken before admission,” he said.

“Compared to the price of a measure of beer, €2-3 (for tests) wouldn’t have mattered,” he said.

Even before the start of the Wiesn, he had spoken out in favour of people taking voluntary self-tests. Lauterbach stressed that now is the time for special measures against Covid.

“The development shows what will happen if the states wait too long with the mask obligation in indoor areas,” he added.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid-19 rules from October

In neighbouring counties, where many Oktoberfest visitors came from, the number of Covid cases has also risen noticeably.  Beatrix Zurek said that it is unclear, however, how much of a role Oktoberfest played in these figures, as people are currently much more active socially overall, with concerts and other events also taking place throughout the state.

Christoph Spinner, an infections specialist at Munich’s Klinikum, has urged people not to be alarmed by the rising numbers.

“We had expected rising incidences here. We knew that there could be a doubling, tripling, even quadrupling,” he said.

He said that this is no cause for concern, as many people have been vaccinated or have also recovered from previous Covid infections, so any new infections are therefore usually mild.

The virologist advises people over 60 or with pre-existing conditions to get a second booster vaccination, but otherwise said people shouldn’t be alarmed by the rising incidences.

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