Berlin (dpa) – From May 1, people infected with the coronavirus and contact persons generally only need to be isolated or quarantined voluntarily and for a short time. The Federal and Länder Health Ministers have agreed on this, as Federal Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced on Monday.
In future, infected people will only be “strongly recommended” to self-isolate for five days and avoid contact – this should apply accordingly to contact persons of infected people. A decree of the health service, which often no longer exists, is no longer applicable. Stricter requirements should remain for healthcare and care workers who have been infected.
Lauterbach said existing regulations work, but are not needed in the long term. So far, the secretions have generally lasted ten days and can be interrupted by a negative test after seven days in advance. The context for the easing is the current omicron wave with many infections, but mostly of a milder nature. This should now also prevent massive staff shortages when the number of infections is high. The changes are based on a proposal by the Federal Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which must now be recommended to the federal states.
Quarantine after “strong recommendation”
Specifically, according to the “urgent recommendation”, infected people should self-isolate for five days and then – from five days – take rapid tests until they test negative. For contact persons of infected persons, there is an “urgent recommendation” to reduce contacts independently – especially with people from risk groups for severe corona courses. You should also do self-tests daily.
For employees in the healthcare system, retirement and nursing homes and outpatient care services, health authorities should continue to order work bans in the event of infection. According to the concept, the prerequisites for recovery are a significant improvement in the symptoms of the disease and a negative result by rapid test or PCR no earlier than five days after detection of the infection. If these employees are people in contact with infected people, they must test themselves daily up to and including the fifth day before starting work.
Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) said this was the next step towards personal responsibility. “I call on people to be aware of this responsibility,” he added. It is also clear that important issues still need to be clarified, for example with regard to loss of income or sick leave. The federal government needs to quickly come up with a sensible proposal here.
Lauterbach: Situation still tense
In view of the evolution of the pandemic, Lauterbach clarified that the situation was still tense and that we could “not give the green light”. At the same time, it is good that “the turning point seems to have been reached” with the increase in the number of cases. They kept coming back. The recent extension of the existing protection rules until April 2 also contributed to this. This was a transition period in the amended Infection Protection Act.
Lauterbach again criticized that no more federal states than Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Hamburg use the “hot spot rule” in law. It allows for other protection requirements with more mask requirements if the state parliament determines a critical situation in the area. In general, most government protection requirements expired on Sunday. Regardless of this, companies and institutions can continue to make specifications according to the domiciliation rights.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220404-99-795833/2