“The Omicron wave is coming and no one can stop it,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who ruled out a general lockdown during the Christmas holidays. At the same time, the Council of Experts set up by the new government is proposing additional measures and greater restrictions on contacts.
The measures on the table
“We have now exceeded the critical number of people infected with the Omicron variant and we have to face the inevitable new wave. “But we will not have a Dutch-style lockdown,” Lauterbach told German public television channel ARD, leaving it up to what measures would be imposed in the coming days.
“I will wait for the assessments of the experts. “We are currently examining and evaluating the situation in relation to the ‘Omicron’ variant,” he added.
What are being examined
According to the German media, the Council of Experts has already called for the rapid introduction of contacts restriction, due to the high transmissibility of the new variant. “The measures should be imposed in the coming days, be effective and coordinated at national level,” ARD quoted sources in the Council as saying.
Among the regulations under consideration, according to the RND network, is to set a limit of 20-25 people for indoor and 100 people for open and the suspension of nightclubs. The new measures will be implemented in the coming days, while it is not ruled out that even stricter restrictions will apply on New Year’s Eve.
For the Greens, Health Minister Janos Damen called for immediate and strict restrictions and the use of public holidays, including the closure of key retail outlets.
Fear of schools
In the same vein, Christian Democrat (CDU / CSU) Health Policy Representative Tino Zorge, who pointed out that “if Omicron is as dangerous as we fear, previous safeguards will not be sufficient” and suggested new restrictions on schools, public spaces – and even the private environment.
CDU / CSU parliamentary group Vice President Sepp Mueller even called on the government to restore the “national epidemic situation” that came on November 25, in order to take immediate and unified measures against the pandemic. Justice Minister Marco Bushman, however, assured tonight that the existing legal basis is sufficient to impose further restrictions, stressing, however, that his party, the Liberals (FDP), is proposing proportionality, with measures aimed at prevent a general lockdown or suspension of schools.