The Senate presented the first strategy to fight the pandemic in the fall: Berlin health senator Gote expects the re-introduction of the obligation to wear masks – Berlin

In Berlin, the obligation to wear masks indoors is likely to be reintroduced in the fall. Senator for Health Ulrike Gote (Greens) currently assumes that. “We can probably prepare to wear a mask,” Gote said Tuesday after the Senate session.

On Tuesday, the health senator presented an initial strategy to fight the pandemic in the fall. Accordingly, one should be prepared for three possible scenarios for autumn. In the first, a variant of the virus prevails that causes less disease than it currently does, so the situation would continue to ease and further measures would not be necessary.

Scenario two assumes the situation as it currently exists. In the third case, the emergence of a new, more dangerous variant of the virus, much stricter protective measures, would be considered again, Gote said.

In order to be able to react appropriately to the situation in question, there is a tool that can be used as desired – and which primarily includes measures that are already known from the past years of the pandemic. Gote mentioned mask requirements in closed spaces, possibly in retail as well, restrictions on access to large events and a requirement for medical and nursing staff to be tested.

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However, nothing has been decided yet, emphasized the health senator. “We haven’t agreed on any measures yet because we don’t know what the situation will be then”. In addition, the country currently lacks a legal basis for introducing the planned measures. Only the federal government can approve it by amending the Federal Infection Control Act, which expires in September.

Gote expects Stika’s recommendation for revaccination in the fall

“Everything we discussed today is not possible because the federal infection protection law does not provide for it,” said the ruling mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD). Berlin will call on the Bundesrat to have more options in the future. “We have a very clear position on that.”

Despite the increasing number of infections, health senator Gote Berlin currently sees “no reason to worry” about the corona virus. Many Berliners are well protected. Only seven percent of the population is currently unvaccinated or recovered. This “massive primary immunization” means a completely different situation for the fall than in previous years, Gote said.

However, she expects the recommendation of the Permanent Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) for the renewal of vaccination of all citizens in the fall, the health senator explained. The capacities of general practitioners would probably be sufficient for this vaccination campaign – until a new variant of the virus emerges.

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The conditions for the Corona Citizen test are changing from Friday, July 1. Under federal plans, the rapid tests will then be free only for visits to nursing facilities and hospitals, for pregnant women and young children. All other citizens will pay three euros per test in the future.

The plan was “critically debated” by the Senate, the senator said. “This self-contribution can lead to social imbalances and the groups we want to protect become isolated.” The states wanted to again pressure the federal government to drop self-contributions.

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