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Germany: ‘Delta’ Variant of Coronavirus Could Trigger New Contact Restrictions

Will Germany have to go back to lockdowns and contact restrictions, in spite of its successes in regard to the vaccination campaign? Leading politicians do not rule out steps of this kind.

Berlin, June 21st, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — In Israel, a country that has already reached herd immunity thanks to its quick vaccination campaign, two schools just needed to be shut down due to major Delta variant outbreaks. If this can happen there, it can happen in Germany, leading politicians believe. Volker Bouffier, the First Minister of the federal state of Hesse, told the ‘Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland’ media network the Delta mutation of the Coronavirus would probably be the dominant variant within a month.

Fourth Wave

In the interview, Bouffier said German holidaymakers might return home infected after the summer vacations. A fourth wave or a return to contact restrictions could not be ruled out. Karl Lauterbach, an MP and health expert, said the only good news was the fact that the spread of the Delta variant in India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America had slowed down. In the ‘Rheinische Post’ daily, Lauterbach warned the Delta mutation posed a big danger to persons who were not vaccinated against Corona.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said the task was to find the right balance between normality and caution. He told ARD television, easing restrictions now was fine as long as this would not lead to overconfidence. There could be confidence in summer, but being careful in fall in winter was necessary. Spahn mentioned the situation at schools. After the summer vacations, the level of normality needed to be as high as possible, but the same applied to safety, he stated. Frequent tests and vaccinations for kids from 12 years of age were important.

Encouraging Numbers

The infection numbers in Germany are still encouraging. Twelve out of sixteen federal states now have one-digit Seven Day Incidences. With 2.2, Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania has the lowest Incidence, according to the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, while Baden-Württemberg is at the highest level. It stands at 12.5 today. The city state of Berlin is at 7.5 right now. Here, the Incidence rose a little on Sunday, but decreased again today.

Ten German counties have reached zero Incidences by now, meaning there have hardly been new Corona infections in those areas in the past seven days. Zweibrücken county in Rhineland-Palatinate is the nation’s Corona hotspot today, with an Incidence of 43.9.

Vaccination Passport

In the meantime, the European digital vaccination passport is making headway. In Germany alone, 22.3 million of these passports have already been issued, even though it is brand new. Especially during the upcoming summer vacations, travelling across borders is supposed to be a lot easier with vaccination passports. Persons who get their second required vaccination shot can get theirs at vaccination centers or doctor’s offices. Individuals who were fully vaccinated in the past can have their vaccination passports issued at pharmacies. It requires the installation of an app called ‘CovPass’ or a printout on paper.

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