German states tighten measures as Covid cases rise

Advert for PCR tests in Stuttgart, Germany
A sign in Stuttgart's shopping mile advertises Covid PCR tests. From Wednesday, Baden-Württemberg will require that unvaccinated people show a negative PCR test to access indoor venues. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Schmidt
Baden-Württemberg will introduce a tougher regime of Covid rules from Wednesday as its warning system switches to red, while other hard-hit German states are considering similar moves.

The southwestern state had opted for a traffic light warning system in which tighter rules come into force when the state exceeds a certain threshold of hospitalisations or infections.

In this case, the new framework is triggered when there are 250 or more Covid patients in intensive care beds for two days in a row, or when eight out of 100,000 Baden-Württemberg residents are hospitalised with Covid symptoms within five days. 

As of Wednesday, 284 Covid patients were being treated in intensive care in the state. 

That means that new entry rules to public spaces and events automatically apply, alongside tighter contact restrictions for the unvaccinated.

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As opposed to the 3G rule, which allows entry to people who can prove they are vaccinated (geimpft), recovered (genesen) or can show a negative rapid test (getestet), indoor facilities in the state will switch to the so-called 3G-plus.

This 3G-plus rule still allows unvaccinated people to gain entry with a test, but instead of a rapid test, they will have to present a pricier – and more accurate – PCR test.

For those who have opted out of vaccination, contact restrictions will also be returning.

According to the latest data from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the 7-day incidence of Covid infections per 100,000 people in Baden-Württemberg stood at 167.5 on Wednesday as the state recorded 1,683 new infections and 19 deaths within a day

Among the unvaccinated, the monthly incidence of Covid hospitalisations per 100,000 people was 40. For vaccinated people, it was 7 in every 100,000 people.

READ ALSO: German business calls for introduction of Covid health pass in offices

Bavaria and Saxony

In addition to Baden-Württemburg, a number of other states including Bavaria and Saxony are also weighing up tighter rules for the autumn and winter.

Next Monday, Saxony’s government plans to introduce compulsory 2G in indoor venues, in addition to keeping social distancing and mask-wearing requirements indoors. In addition, the 2G entry policy will apply to large outdoor events such as football matches, and private contact restrictions will once again come into force.

Bavaria’s state government will be meeting on Wednesday to decide whether a state-wide 2G rule excluding unvaccinated people from public indoor spaces should come into force.

Due to the high infection rates in some regions of the state, a number of municipalities have already introduced this rule, which is also favoured by state premier Markus Söder (CDU). 

In Bavaria, the incidence of Covid infections has surged to 228 per 100,000 people, while Saxony has a weekly Covid incidence of 289 infections per 100,000 people. 

In both states, a handful of regions are seeing incidences of over 400. 

In the state of Hesse, government ministers are due to announce new measures in the coming days, while Berlin is reportedly planning an emergency meeting next Tuesday to decide on a switch to tougher 2G rules. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How German states are tightening Covid rules for winter

Highest number of deaths since May 

The 7-day incidence of Covid infections per 100,000 people has dropped for the second day in a row in Germany to 147 from 154. 

But data experts say this paints a misleading picture of the situation.

Due to some German states having a public holiday on Monday, there are thought to be delays in reporting of cases. However, experts note that cases have dropped slightly in the city state of Hamburg, which didn’t have a Monday holiday.

On Wednesday, Germany’s local health authorities reported 20,398 new Covid cases and 194 Covid-related deaths within 24 hours.

This is the highest number of daily fatalities since May 28th this year. 

READ ALSO: Why are Covid infections in Germany rising?


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