Corona summer wave: Questions and answers about the situation in Bavaria

How many people are vaccinated against Corona?

A good 75 percent of the total Bavarian population is basic immunized against corona, and the proportion is 84 percent among adults. 58.4 percent of Bavarians received a first booster vaccination (adults: 68.3 percent). In the national average, all values ​​are slightly higher (basic immunization nationwide: almost 78 percent).

This puts Germany in the middle of the pack in a European comparison. According to EU figures, Portugal and Malta are ahead with 86 percent basic immunization, followed by Denmark (82 percent). Several countries such as Italy, Ireland and Iceland have a rate of around 80 percent. France, Finland, Belgium and Spain are also just ahead of Germany. The rate is lower, for example, in the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Greece and in the Eastern European countries.

Which corona rules currently apply in Bavaria?

In some other European countries, all corona rules have now been lifted. In Bavaria, just like nationwide, some low-threshold restrictions continue to apply. For example, when entering so-called vulnerable facilities, all visitors need a daily negative rapid test. Employees must test themselves twice a week. The same requirements also apply to visitors and employees in Bavaria’s prisons.

There was a significant easing of masks in the spring, at that time because of a requirement from the federal government and against the declared will of the CSU-led state government. Since the beginning of April, mouth and nose protection has no longer had to be worn in many places in the Free State, for example in schools and supermarkets. However, the mask requirement continues to apply selectively, for example in long-distance transport, in local public transport and in vulnerable facilities and in certain areas of accommodation for the homeless or asylum seekers.

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Here, too, there are major differences within Europe: In a campaign, the National Company of the Belgian Railways is currently advertising with broadly grinning people not to wear masks.

Access restrictions such as 2G or 3G, on the other hand, no longer exist in Bavaria. However, the current Bavarian Corona Ordinance still contains this note: “Everyone is encouraged to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other people wherever possible and to ensure adequate hand hygiene.”

How are things going in autumn?

Like other experts, infectiologist Spinner, who is also the pandemic officer at the Munich Klinikum rechts der Isar, expects an even higher incidence in the fall: “It is very likely that we can assume that the number of infections will continue to rise.” That will then mean “that more people with Covid-19 will have to be treated in clinics again – not all of them because of Covid,” explains the expert.

Important in this context: The official statistics of the federal government and the Free State of Bavaria still do not distinguish whether a patient came to the hospital because of Corona or for another reason and the infection was discovered by chance.

What Corona rules could come?

The current Federal Infection Protection Act is valid until September 23rd. It provides for “basic protection”: it is still possible to wear masks in nursing homes, clinics and in local and long-distance transport. In addition, the federal states can order compulsory testing in schools, clinics, nursing homes and prisons. Stricter measures such as 2G and 3G and a mask requirement when shopping or in schools are only possible in “hotspots” – in specific regions for which the state parliament has identified a dangerous situation.

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Several states, including Bavaria, are calling on the federal government to quickly create a legal basis for further protection requirements in the event of a new corona wave in autumn. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) wants the states to have a mask requirement indoors, contact restrictions, upper limits for events and testing requirements as a minimum.

FDP brakes, Union-led federal states push

In the traffic light coalition, the FDP rejects quick new definitions. First of all, a report by an expert committee expected by June 30th, which is to evaluate previous pandemic measures, should be awaited. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) recently emphasized that he is expecting an agreement with the FDP, which is largely critical of the restrictions due to the corona pandemic.

In the BR24 interview, Spinner also advocates putting each of the previous corona measures to the test again: “What did they bring? What will they bring? And how well is it suited to ward off illnesses in particular?” Masks indoors could be a means, according to him. From Spinner’s point of view, it is particularly important to promote booster vaccinations more intensively in risk groups in order to be able to “protect those who are particularly at risk particularly well”.

With a view to calls for 2G and 3G rules, however, the expert says: “I think it has been shown very clearly that access restrictions have had relatively little influence on the transmission of virus variants.”