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Corona: Buschmann falls into the trap of his shaky promises

opinion End of the Corona rules

Buschmann falls into the trap of his shaky promises

Stand: 04.10.2022

Lauterbach and Buschmann defend the new version of the Infection Protection Act

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) have defended the stricter corona rules planned for autumn. “We have to prepare for a situation that can presumably occur in autumn/winter,” said Buschmann.

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The Minister of Justice is promising an end to all corona restrictions for next spring – like last year. It turned out differently. But Buschmann (FDP) is doing it again. Actually, he would have to fight another fight with Minister of Health Lauterbach (SPD).

In the pandemic there are always déjà vus, i.e. events that you think you have experienced before. For example last weekend: Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) announced in an interview with “Bild am Sonntag” that all corona measures would end next spring.

“If the situation in the hospitals remains stable this winter, Corona is very likely to become a general life risk from spring and the last measures could expire,” he said. Then there would no longer be a requirement to wear masks in local and long-distance public transport.

So so. The end of all measures in the spring. Buschmann made exactly the same announcement in October last year. At that time, the three traffic light parties presented their draft of the new Infection Protection Act at a press conference, which was due to expire on March 20 of this year. “There is an absolute end to all measures – and all measures end at the latest with the beginning of spring on March 20, 2022,” said Buschmann at the time.

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It turned out differently. The delta wave followed in winter, and the more contagious omicron variant spread at the beginning of the year. On March 18, the traffic light government passed a new infection protection law, which provided for masks to be worn on buses and trains and compulsory tests in schools. Stricter measures were refrained from, but Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) was unable to enforce his strict course. But the impression remained: the promise of the FDP was passé.

Two contradictory approaches by the ministers

It is all the more astonishing that Buschmann is now falling into the same trap again. This time he has formulated his prognosis more cautiously and in the subjunctive, but nevertheless it creates clear expectations among the citizens. After all, nothing would be more desirable than that there would no longer be a need for corona measures in spring. But the experience of the past two and a half years shows that nobody can foresee that.

Instead of putting a fixed date in the room, the federal government should rather define under what conditions the pandemic would be over.

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While Buschmann talks vaguely about the situation in the hospitals, cabinet colleague Lauterbach likes to refer to nasal vaccines, which are currently being researched and should also protect against infection in the future.

The two approaches could not be more contradictory and make it clear that there is apparently no common understanding within the traffic light. The definition of a corona exit strategy would make much more sense than recurring shaky promises.

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