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Germany: Lauterbach talks of "epidemic situation"

Berlin - The federal government was the only European country to recently decide on corona restrictions for autumn. But Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) does not go far enough. He no longer rules out declaring an “epidemic situation” in winter. Then there could be another lockdown with school and business closures as well as curfews and contact bans.

He hopes, stressed the SPD politician in Welt, "that there will not be a serious change of variant". If this does not happen, "we will not get into such an epidemic situation". Nevertheless, Germany needs emergency funds and measures against the pandemic. Lauterbach, who claims to have been infected with the virus despite four vaccinations, said: “Many people mistakenly believe that only the lighter variants will prevail in the course of a pandemic. That is a mistake.” There is no so-called selective advantage for lighter variants. He warned: "We must be prepared for anything."

Lauterbach: I don't do it for fun
Lauterbach explained his motivation for the measures: "We're not just suggesting this for fun, it's about protecting the population from infection and possible serious illnesses." He therefore also assumes that the restrictions that have already been decided will be applied very soon: "I expect that many states will already be using the rules broadly in early October."

It is important that the mouth and nose are covered in restaurants, even if this is only done from the table to the toilet. Because “there is always a signal from the mask: you can get infected at this place. That makes people cautious.”

The minister left no doubt that Germany was facing "difficult times" because of Covid. He said literally: "The Corona autumn will not be a bed of roses." If "staying indoors because of the cold temperatures becomes the norm", Germany will "experience an increase in the number of cases". Lauterbach: "There will then be failures in the companies and the critical infrastructure, for example in hospitals. So we have difficult times ahead of us.”

The "epidemic situation of national concern"
Background: According to the Infection Protection Act, an “epidemic situation of national importance” exists when “there is a serious risk to public health throughout the Federal Republic of Germany because the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency of international importance and the introduction of a threatening communicable disease into the Federal Republic of Germany or a dynamic spread of a threatening communicable disease over several countries in the Federal Republic of Germany is imminent or taking place". The German Bundestag decides whether there is an epidemic situation of national importance.

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