How Germany is preparing for a post-summer Covid wave

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
How Germany is preparing for a post-summer Covid wave
A sign for vaccination and Covid tests in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

German state leaders have called for an 'anti-corona plan' for the autumn, which could include re-introducing mandatory face masks and entry restrictions if the situation worsens.


What's happening?

On Thursday, state leaders from Germany's 16 states met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz to talk about preparations for the post-summer period when Covid infections are expected to rise again.

One of the biggest concerns is what happens after the current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd. Although Germany has relaxed most of its Covid regulations in the last few months, state parliaments still have the legal possibility to bring in tougher measures if they believe it is needed under the current legislation.

However, they want reassurances that the law will be adapted to allow for more measures when the colder months come. The general feeling is that states don't want to be 'caught out' by a strong wave of Covid, which could in the worst possible case lead to hospitals becoming overloaded as has happened in previous years. 

READ ALSO: Will Germany prepare a Covid strategy for autumn?


What did the government and states decide?

After the meeting, Hendrik Wüst (CDU), state leader in North Rhine-Westphalia and head of the conference of state premiers, said that states have put forward ideas, but that the federal government is to take more responsibility on how the Covid strategy will proceed. 

"We don't want another back and forth between lockdowns and relaxations, as we have seen in the past," Wüst said.

"That's why we have to prepare now, be prudent, stay forward-looking in dealing with the pandemic. We would all like the pandemic to be over, but it is not, and that is why we want to make preparations together to be well prepared for next autumn and winter."

In a recent resolution, state health ministers listed measures. 

From autumn onwards, for instance, states could react to Covid waves by making masks compulsory indoors again. Furthermore, 2G or 3G access rules to venues - where people have to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid test - could come back. 

Meanwhile, the German District Association (Landkreistag) also called for a legal basis for Covid measures to come back in the colder months.

"These instruments include mandatory masks indoors and in public transport, and contact restrictions if necessary," association President Reinhard Sager told German media site RND.

He said there needs to be a proper framework of action for local health offices.

"In the near future, the Infection Protection Act must be adapted so that there is no rude awakening in October or November," he said.

READ ALSO: Germany’s current Covid mask rules


Lauterbach wants to be better prepared

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he is already forming plans.

"We must not go into the crisis unprepared again like last autumn," he said in the Bundestag on Thursday. "We must be well prepared."

Among the proposals, Lauterbach wants to see a new vaccination campaign, more testing and better protection for risk groups.

Lauterbach said there is a "difficult mood" at the moment in Germany because some people believe the pandemic is over, others are uncertain while some people are worried. 

On Friday Germany reported 42,693 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, and 91 deaths. The incidence stood at 261.3 cases per 100,000 people within seven days. The number of infections are thought to be much higher since many go unreported. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also