July 24, 2021

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Germany imposes “emergency brake” law to curb Covid infections across most of the country

Germany imposes "emergency brake" law to curb Covid infections across most of the country

The controversial new law gives the national government the power to impose blockades on states for the first time, ending the patchwork of state-by-state measures.

The federally imposed closure will affect almost all of Germany, with only a few municipalities that will have transmission levels low enough to avoid restrictions.

Spahn’s announcement on Friday, at a press conference by the Ministry of Health in Berlin, came the day after the bill was passed by the upper house of parliament.

The law allows the German government to impose a curfew between 10pm and 5am local time, as well as restricting private gatherings, sports and shop openings, in all areas, registering more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in a week. . Schools will close and return to online classes if the incidence of the virus exceeds 165 cases per 100,000 residents.

The latest figures indicate that Germany’s new infection rate is 164 per 100,000 residents.

The new law sparked protests from opposition parties in parliament and in the capital, Berlin, where hundreds of people took to the streets.

It went into effect when Germany hit its highest number of new Covid-19 infections since January.

Speaking at the same press conference as Spahn on Friday, Lars Schaade, deputy head of the German health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), said “infection numbers are still too high” but that “coronavirus case numbers they don’t seem to rise as fast as. “

Patients sit in a monitoring area after receiving a Covid-19 injection at the Arena Berlin mass vaccination center on April 15, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
Spahn added that Germany’s vaccination campaign was now escalating. “One in four Germans will have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine in early May,” he said.

As of Friday, 18.5 million people had been vaccinated, according to Spahn. About 22% of Germans have now received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and nearly 7% have received the second shot. Germany has a population of approximately 83 million.

Spahn said Thursday that he expected to offer coronavirus injections to all adults starting in June.

On Friday, Germany recorded 27,543 new coronavirus infections, an increase of 1,712 cases from the same day last week, according to RKI data. There have been 265 coronavirus deaths in the country in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 81,158.