The mask requirement on the plane will probably not come after all. The Federal Ministry of Health caused confusion on Friday. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the seven-day incidence is 234.4 – although the number of unreported cases remains high. You can find all the news in the Corona ticker on FOCUS online.

5.38 p.m .: Under pressure from the FDP, the originally planned mask requirement in air traffic has been removed from the Infection Protection Act. The editorial network Germany (RND/Tuesday) learned this from coalition circles. Instead, it was agreed between the SPD, Greens and FDP that Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) would be given a basis for authorization to be able to issue an ordinance requiring masks on airplanes. In the circles, however, it was pointed out that a regulation also requires the approval of all departments, including the FDP-led ministries. “This means that the mask requirement in air traffic is de facto dead,” it said.

In addition, according to the information, it was agreed that patients will also have to wear FFP2 masks in medical practices in the future, not just in clinics and care facilities.

Monday, September 5, 5:37 a.m .: The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder wants to visit the Oktoberfest without a respirator. “I come without a mask,” said the CSU boss of the “Bild” newspaper (Monday edition). Everyone should “decide on their own responsibility whether and how they visit the Wiesn”. The corona situation is “currently stable”, there is “no growing burden in the hospitals,” said Söder.

According to the current status, there is no obligation to wear a mask at the Oktoberfest in Munich. The Oktoberfest takes place from September 17th to October 3rd. In the past two years she had failed due to the corona pandemic.

1.15 p.m .: The Bavarian Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek has warned of chaos because of the obligation for students to have a certificate after a corona infection. “The federal government must draft the new Infection Protection Act in such a way that children and young people do not need a doctor’s certificate every time they are allowed to return to school or daycare,” said the CSU politician to the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Saturday). “A negative rapid test should be sufficient.” The current draft is not practical, burdens the doctors and disadvantages children and young people.

Sunday, September 4th, 10.10 a.m .: When administering the new vaccines adapted to Omicron, the federal states want to rely primarily on established doctors and vaccination centers – but they do not expect a large rush. This emerges from a survey by the German Press Agency among the countries. Vaccinations in pharmacies, on the other hand, are unlikely to play a role.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light on Thursday for the two vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna, which are adapted to the BA.1 subtype of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The EU Commission approved the vaccine on Friday. Although BA.1 no longer plays a role in Germany, experts assume that the new vaccines also have an advantage against the currently dominant BA.5 subtype. However, there is still no vaccination recommendation from the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko).

In the two weeks starting this Monday, around 14 million doses of the BA.1 preparation from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna are to come. How the vaccine gets into the arms of the people is organized by the federal states and the municipalities. The strategies differ in detail.

While in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, the 53 vaccination centers ceased operations last autumn, there are currently 80 vaccination centers in Bavaria despite the low demand for vaccination – some with limited opening hours. “We can quickly start vaccinations in Bavaria as soon as the adapted vaccine arrives in September,” said Bavarian Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek (CSU).

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is also sticking to vaccination centers, which should initially run until April 2023. The Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian Ministry of Health announced that the vaccination centers and mobile teams are an important offer, especially for people who do not have a family doctor or who do not have access to a doctor’s office due to restricted mobility.

In Saxony, the 13 vaccination centers are being increased. On request, the Ministry of Social Affairs in Dresden announced that the existing vaccination centers should be particularly staffed during the cool season.

In Bremen there are still four central vaccination centers, a children’s vaccination center, mobile teams and vaccination vehicles, as the health department announced. A spokeswoman said that “even if there is a short-term increase in demand, capacities can be increased.

Even if the preparations for vaccinations with the new vaccines are already underway in the countries, they do not yet want to fully increase their existing vaccination capacities. Schleswig-Holstein, for example, has calculated how many vaccinations the capacities can be expanded to: “If necessary, existing capacities (vaccination lines) and the opening times in the existing vaccination centers can be increased,” explained the Ministry of Health in Kiel. According to this, it would then be possible to carry out more than 1.8 million vaccinations within six weeks.

Baden-Württemberg’s Health Minister Manne Lucha (Greens) assumes that the existing capacities in his state are sufficient. The country is currently not expecting a mass vaccination like in early 2021. In this case, the vaccination coordinators in every city and district can start up the infrastructure, it said.

In Thuringia, with the exception of two cities – Erfurt and Gera – capacities will not be increased for the time being. The opening hours there have not been reduced, according to the vaccination manager of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV), Jörg Metz. The willingness to vaccinate is currently low. “If the demand increases again, we will react,” said Mertz. The federal state has already halved the vaccination points. It is unclear how the approval of vaccines that are adapted to the Omicron variants will affect demand.

In Hamburg, Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt, the corona vaccines are primarily vaccinated via medical practices. There are only two vaccination centers in Hamburg, which can be staffed if there is greater demand, the health authority said. “We already prepared for scaling up the capacities when setting up the two vaccination centers and the mobile offer,” it said with a view to autumn.

Even the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia relies primarily on vaccinations in medical practices. This enables flexible control of the local vaccination process and is based on demand, said the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Social Affairs on request. According to the information, vaccination could be significantly ramped up again in the fall if necessary. The federal state has the resources to “carry out at least 250,000 vaccinations a week within 14 days – in addition to what is offered in medical practices and company doctors.” According to its own statements, Hesse has also not had any state-owned vaccination centers since the end of September 2021.

A number of mobile vaccination teams are also on the road in the neighboring states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Lower Saxony. There are currently around 150 in Lower Saxony alone. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the German Red Cross can vaccinate around 35,000 people per month with its mobile teams – especially in old people’s homes, as the Ministry of Health in Mainz announced. In addition, there would be 26 stationary vaccination offers and six vaccination buses with a total of around 200,000 vaccinations per month.

More on the subject:

Saturday, September 3, 5:01 a.m .: The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide seven-day incidence on Saturday morning as 230.5. This is evident from numbers that reflect the status of the RKI dashboard at 5 a.m. The day before, the value of new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week was 234.4 (previous week: 260.3; previous month: 477.9). However, this information only provides a very incomplete picture of the number of infections.

Experts have been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases not recorded by the RKI – mainly because by far not all infected people have a PCR test done. Only positive PCR tests count in the statistics. In addition, late registrations or transmission problems can lead to a distortion of individual daily values.

The health authorities in Germany recently reported 29,345 new corona infections (previous week: 33,226) and 120 deaths (previous week: 101) to the RKI within one day. Here, too, comparisons of the data are only possible to a limited extent due to the test behavior, late registrations or transmission problems. In general, the number of registered new infections and deaths varies significantly from weekday to weekday, since many federal states do not transmit them to the RKI, especially at weekends, and report their cases later in the week.

The RKI has counted 32,247,828 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected.

5:28 p.m .: After the surprising coronavirus all-clear, which was announced at noon via the official warning app Nina and the corresponding website, the confusion is now perfect. Although the official announcement says something about an “all clear” – a few paragraphs later then practically the exact opposite. “The coronavirus continues to pose a serious threat to your health,” it said.

Karl Lauterbach’s Ministry of Health tried to explain to the “Bild” newspaper. “There are technical reasons why the Nina-Warn-App still shows the all-clear,” explains the ministry. The previous nationwide warning made the warning map confusing because all of Germany was marked in red. this solution was decided upon. It is unclear why this is not communicated in the all-clear itself.

1:41 p.m .: At the beginning of April, the federal government issued a nationwide coronavirus warning. This was surprisingly lifted on Friday. A corresponding message can be found in the warning app Nina, an official app of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance.

It states: “The coronavirus continues to pose a serious threat to your health. Take advantage of the offers for the corona vaccination and refresh your vaccination protection if necessary. Even if the nationwide warning is hereby lifted, continue to observe the recommendations for action given, especially the AHA rules.”

There is still no official statement from the Ministry of Health in this regard. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) recently presented the new infection protection law for autumn and winter. This provides for nationwide rules such as wearing FFP2 masks in long-distance passenger transport.

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