End of restrictions in sight

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Tue 6th Jul, 2021

Massive relaxations for vaccinated people are on the horizon in Corona policy: People with full vaccination protection would have to comply with few or greatly reduced Corona rules in the foreseeable future. A spokeswoman for Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Monday that it was considered right "that the requirements fall" as soon as all people in Germany had been offered vaccination. However, he said, a high vaccination rate was a prerequisite for the health system to be able to cope with a possible fourth wave of Corona.

Earlier, Andreas Gassen, head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), called for Corona measures for vaccinated people to be lifted. "By September at the latest, a vaccination offer will be available for everyone who wants to be vaccinated, and then almost all Corona measures will actually have to go," Gassen told the Bild newspaper. He added that everyone could still decide individually to continue wearing masks, but that it should no longer be mandatory. This could also make vaccination more attractive.

Voices in favor of a massive relaxation confront the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the virus - and they bring into focus the legal aspect of the Corona policy. When asked about the legality of restrictions for people with dual vaccination protection, the Federal Ministry of Justice refers to the Minister of Health. The minister is responsible for weighing up the risks. Measures that his ministry deems necessary are legally covered.

The rights of the vaccinated will soon be clarified at the highest legal level. The Federal Constitutional Court will presumably rule in the next few months in the main proceedings on the federal emergency brake. One central issue: how to deal with vaccinated people. This is "a special constitutional challenge," the court had announced somewhat vaguely in its decision on the curfew in early May.

As soon as everyone had the opportunity to be vaccinated, Steffen Augsberg, a law professor in Giessen, believes the legal situation will change, even for the non-vaccinated. He draws a comparison with inline skating: if the sole aim is to protect people from endangering themselves, then it is difficult to justify bans. "Everyone has to be able to assess their own risk." But if this puts pressure on the health care system, then intervention is necessary, he said.

His colleague Stephan Rixen, who, like Augsberg, is a member of the German Ethics Council, urges caution, however: "Getting an offer of vaccination is not necessarily synonymous with a realistic chance of access," he says. Information appropriate to the target group is necessary, for example, if marginalized social groups are to be reached effectively. Information about the vaccines also needs to be provided, he adds. Not everyone who feels unease because of the relatively new vaccines is a fundamentalist opponent of vaccination, he says. "The only thing that helps here is a transparent and differentiated presentation of the reasons in favor of vaccination." In this regard, he said, one can learn from the Standing Commission on Vaccination, which, if necessary, is also cautious with recommendations.

Photo by Mick Haupt


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