Planned lockdown easing from Monday in danger again

In downtown Krefeld the cafes are still closed.

In downtown Krefeld the cafes are still closed.

picture alliance / Rupert Oberhäuser | Rupert Oberhäuser

According to, the planned easing of lockdowns from Monday is already in danger again.

On Wednesday, the federal and state governments want to hold a video conference from 2 p.m. on how to proceed with the lockdown and the corona policy. According to the first draft resolution from Monday evening, the lockdown is to be extended to March 28th. But actually there should be easing from the beginning of next week: Meetings should then be possible with another household, but no more than five. Children up to 14 years are not included. In addition, bookshops, flower shops and garden centers should be allowed to open in all federal states. Condition: a maximum of one customer per 20 square meters.

But this relaxation is in danger, because behind the scenes there are apparently still dozens of ambiguities about the test strategy not 24 hours before the summit. According to the draft resolution, it is actually planned until the beginning of April that all Germans can have themselves tested once or twice a week free of charge, especially school and daycare employees as well as employees who work in the office. The paper sees possibilities for this “in a test center operated by the respective municipality, with third parties commissioned by the respective municipality or with doctors in private practice”. Whether there will be one or two tests is still a matter of dispute between the federal and state governments.

Existing set of quick and self-tests unclear

But from government circles it is said that it is not clear whether there are any foreseeable and permanent sufficient rapid and self-tests in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) reworked a three-page strategy paper for the summit on March 1 (available to, but it did not mention any figures. Many countries also criticize the fact that test centers cannot be set up so quickly. In addition, it is unclear who the “third parties” commissioned by the municipalities should be. It is also controversial whether tests to secure the result should be certified and by whom.

The fact is: Despite the lack of information on the planned number of quick and self-tests, the strategy with free tests is becoming expensive. According to BMG estimates, this will cost up to 810 million euros a month.

Excerpt from the strategy paper of the Ministry of Health

Excerpt from the strategy paper of the Ministry of Health / BMG

The strategy paper also shows what happens if the rapid tests have a corona-positive result. Then the person tested should make an appointment for the PCR laboratory test via his family doctor or the telephone number 116 117 and be isolated at home until the result is obtained. The federal government bears the costs for this.

If someone tests positive for the coronavirus in a test center, “in the future” it should be possible to take and send another sample directly on site for confirmatory PCR laboratory testing. The paper says: “In this case, too, the person who tested positive should immediately go into domestic isolation until the final result is available. The respective health department will be informed. ”Here, too, the federal government bears the costs. However, it is unclear how exactly a person who tested positive can move from the center into domestic isolation without infecting others along the way.


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