Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) warned in the online meeting of the Union parliamentary group to cautious opening steps in the corona pandemic. “We must not get any waves now,” she said on Tuesday with a view to virus mutations, according to information from participants in Reuters and RTL / n-tv. “We are now in the third wave,” added the Chancellor.
If the federal states took steps to open up, there had to be the perspective that institutions could remain open after opening. Nobody will be done a favor “when we close what we once opened”. The Chancellor said that the possibilities of rapid tests and self-tests enabled the opening steps to be better cushioned than in 2020.
Merkel specified her ideas for cautious opening steps in combination with increased testing options. There are three strands that you want to open step by step, said Merkel, according to information from the German Press Agency. The Chancellor named the personal contact restrictions as well as the education and economic sectors.
Merkel: Finding a path into summer
Merkel made it clear that opening steps should be worked out by the next Prime Minister’s Conference on March 3. Then it should be agreed under what circumstances these steps could be taken. With every opening step, the goal must be to prevent an exponential growth in the number of infections, also in view of the various mutations. The aim is to find a path into summer where the effects of the vaccination can also be clearly seen. And where as far as possible nothing has to be closed again that has been opened.
The three strands are about personal contact restrictions and opportunities to meet in certain groups, Merkel said. The second strand is about educational issues – after primary schools, the upper classes, secondary schools, vocational schools and universities. The third strand has to do with economic issues – shops, restaurants and one day hotels, said Merkel. She also included sports in groups and cultural events.
The best thing to do is to choose packages in which you don’t just take something from one strand, but where you try sensibly to bring things together from different areas of life, Merkel suggested. After the individual opening steps, it must be checked that one is not returning to exponential growth.
If this happens, you will very quickly be in a situation again in which the health system could be overloaded. With a doubling cycle of ten or 14 days you are very fast with very high numbers.