Cold quarantine, 1-friend rule: Compromise on corona rules

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) with Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD, left) and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU)

Fabrizio Bensch / pool photo via AP

One participant on Monday evening sums up the hours of consultation between the Prime Minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) as follows: “It was tough”.

In fact, it became apparent even before the Corona summit that a joint decision by the federal and state governments would be even more difficult than before. Above all, the federal government’s proposal to introduce tougher corona rules in schools, for example by halving school classes, caused anger among the states. FDP Education Minister Joachim Stamp criticized on Twitter: “How far away is the Federal Chancellery from our children and families?”

Although the Chancellery improved its proposal on the school rules, the federal states took a stand – and entered the deliberations with their own paper. This no longer includes: the originally planned quarantine regulation for cold symptoms, the requirement for children and adolescents to only meet with one friend and the requirement not to meet with more than two people from another household .

The federal and state governments have now agreed on this

After hours of deliberations, during which Merkel and the country chiefs reportedly had a crash, a compromise came out: After research by, the country decision was accepted – but some passages from the second chancellery document were included in the decision. Including a passage on the current high number of infections, but also the proposal for a cold quarantine. However, this has been put into perspective and is now called:

“People with respiratory diseases Take advantage of the option, which has been reintroduced in October, of being able to call your doctor on sick leave. Staying at home until the acute symptoms subside and recover is medically beneficial for healing, even if no additional medical treatment is required. The doctor will also discuss with those affected whether the symptoms, especially in the case of fever or impairment of the sense of smell or taste, are so relevant that a test, examination or further treatment is necessary. “

The tough one-friend rule has also been removed. Instead, the federal and state governments appeal to limit contacts to a fixed additional budget. The literal recommendation is: Restricting private get-togethers with friends, relatives and acquaintances to a permanent household, this also includes children and young people in the family.“Private celebrations should be avoided entirely.

The new school rules planned by the federal government have also been completely deleted. Now it just says: “At the next conference, the federal and state governments will discuss how the risk of infection can be reduced in hotspots in schools.”

The entire document is available for download here.

How to proceed now

The Prime Minister’s surprisingly self-confident handling of Merkel’s proposal on Monday shows one thing above all: the necessary joint crisis management by the federal and state governments is becoming increasingly difficult. According to a high-ranking member of a state chancellery, Merkel wanted to contain the pandemic with all her might, but was approaching the problem too theoretically. Means: Although the proposed measures are theoretically correct, they would often collide with reality and practicality.

It just doesn’t work like this to just cut classrooms in half, as the federal government initially suggested, because there would simply be a lack of teaching staff, according to the State Chancellery employee. If every person with mild cold symptoms were to immediately go to a quarantine of up to seven days, this would also mean the collapse of the economy – which one also wants to avoid under all circumstances. Or it would mean a de facto closure of all daycare centers – which is also not wanted.

In plain language: The ideas from the Chancellery are not proportionate. Next week on November 25th, the federal and state governments want to make further specific decisions about schools. It is questionable, however, whether the proposals will then go through with everyone involved without discussion.


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