Coronavirus

Corona crisis: Altmaier wants harsher penalties for violating rules

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In view of the increasing number of new coronavirus infections, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier is calling for tougher penalties for violations of the corona rules. “Anyone who deliberately endangers others must expect that this will have serious consequences for them,” said Altmaier of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “We must not endanger the recovery that is just beginning by accepting a further increase in infections.” Altmaier is not the only one currently fearing a second wave of infections and renewed restrictions on public life.

Since mid-July, the number of coronavirus cases in Germany has been rising again. As the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Saturday morning on the Internet, the health authorities reported 955 new corona infections within one day (data status as of August 1st, midnight).

Aggravation of the corona situation “must be avoided at all costs”

“A further exacerbation of the situation must be avoided,” wrote the RKI in its current management report. “This will only succeed if the entire population remains committed, e.g. by consistently complying with distance and hygiene rules – even outdoors -, ventilating interiors and, where appropriate, wearing a mouth and nose cover correctly. “

The vast majority of the population is still extremely responsible, Altmaier praised. “What we are currently experiencing in terms of risk increases is largely due to the careless and sometimes irresponsible misconduct of a very small number of people,” said the minister. “We have to prevent this more effectively than before and act effectively in cases where there are infections and outbreaks: This includes fines and penalties if it is a matter of intent or gross negligence.”

Corona parties and refusals to wear mouth-nose protection

There are different catalogs of fines for violations of corona rules in the federal states, for example if the minimum distance is not observed, no mouth-to-nose protection is worn in public transport or “corona parties” are celebrated.

“I strongly advocate that you can only get on buses and trains if you can show a protective mask, or buy one when you get in, provided you have forgotten your own,” said Altmaier. “Anyone who drives a bus or train without a mask is not endangering themselves, but others. If a party in a narrow cellar pub becomes a super-spreading event in violation of all clearance and hygiene regulations, this is not trivial and must be punished if necessary. ”A super-spreading event is an event in which infect a particularly large number of people.

Germany cannot afford a second lockdown

“We cannot afford a second lockdown,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “Aid measures as in the current financial framework could probably not be repeated. Therefore, we now need the highest level of attention and also insight into urgently required measures such as the requirement to wear a mask. “When new flames of infection flare up,” quick, low-threshold and differentiated at local level “must be responded to. “We must not be negligent when it comes to taking measures against the virus. Only then can we prevent a second wave together. “

The managing director of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, called for a second wave of infections to be delayed as long as possible. “A second major lockdown for our entire country would hit us all and would lead to another economic slump. Therefore, everything must be done so that it does not come so far, ”he warned in the Funke newspapers.

According to the president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, a second wave could harm the economy more than the first. “Because many companies are stricken, have high debts and hardly any reserves,” he told the “Rheinische Post” (Saturday).

As a result of the Corona crisis, Germany’s gross domestic product collapsed in the double digits in the second quarter. Altmaier expects the economy to grow again across the board in autumn.

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