The Federal Council will vote on the new Infection Protection Act on Friday. In the run-up, criticism of the measures is growing in the federal states and among parents. In particular, the fact that children and young people are supposed to adhere to stricter rules than adults causes resentment.

The new Infection Protection Act was passed in the Bundestag on September 8th. On Friday, however, the Federal Council still has to approve the measures that are to apply from October 1st. Three federal states have already announced in advance that they will probably vote against it: Schleswig-Holstein, Bavaria and Thuringia.

Above all, Schleswig-Holstein’s Education Minister Karin Prien (CDU) has been clearly critical of the new package of measures in the past few days. The changes in the Infection Protection Act are “catastrophic” for students.

The new Infection Protection Act is intended to give the federal states the opportunity to implement further measures depending on the situation of the pandemic. This includes, among other things, a mask requirement for students from the fifth grade and up, as well as a test requirement.

The plans apparently also stipulate that after a corona infection, schoolchildren will not be released from the obligation to isolate after five days like adults, but will have to present an official negative test result. The regulations are to apply until April 2023.

“We have to stop Karl Lauterbach,” Prien told the “Bild” newspaper. “The rule means that only those who have had a negative corona test in the test center or have been given a healthy certificate by the doctor are allowed to go back to school.”

It is completely disproportionate to exclude schoolchildren from classes for weeks because of a simple corona infection, while everyone else, according to the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), can take part in life normally again after five days, said Prien.

A look at the “FAQ” of the Federal Ministry of Health on the new Infection Protection Act, as of 14.09.22, confirms:

“Children with suspected corona can take part in class again if they present a negative self-test. Students who have had Corona can return to school after recovery only upon presentation of a confirmed negative test (e.g. at the testing site, at the facility under supervision).”

Minister Prien criticizes:

“Students are once again worse off than adults and workers. The new Infection Protection Act treats children and young people with Corona as if they had the plague or cholera.”

In fact, before the corona pandemic, such a regulation only existed for very serious, contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, cholera or plague.

Prien is now also getting tailwind from other federal states for its criticism of the new Infection Protection Act, as reported by “Welt”. In particular, the fact that the mere suspicion of a corona infection is sufficient to exclude students from class until they present a negative test result sometimes causes a lack of understanding.

“It is perfectly clear to us that children and young people should not be treated worse than adults and that schools and day-care centers should not be treated worse than the rest of society,” says the Mainz Ministry of Education, for example.

Bremen’s Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD) wants to prevent practically healthy children from being excluded from attending daycare or school “because of a dripping nose”. On Friday he will put on record in the Bundesrat that Bremen will interpret the test obligation so narrowly that the “obligation to test free would only occur if the corona test is positive”.

In particular, the fact that children and young people are treated more strictly than adults with the new requirements of the Infection Protection Act also causes a lack of understanding among many parents.

The “Bild” newspaper gives an example of three mothers who explain under the title “Parents pissed off at Lauterbach” why they consider the new Infection Protection Act to be problematic.

“I’m so tired. I work in the public sector, where testing is no longer an issue. It should come back to school now. That means I’m late again in the morning when I have to take my daughter to the test center. We have relatives in France who don’t understand what’s going on with us,” 44-year-old Celine S. told the newspaper.

She adds: “Shortly after his infection, even Karl Lauterbach was back in the federal press conference as if nothing had happened. But he wants to make life particularly difficult for children again.”

48-year-old Britt-Kerstin Schmitt reports what fears her son had in the past because of the tests. “I don’t understand why the law is being tightened now. Children are treated as carriers of serious diseases.”

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