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Germany: Merkel, Scholz and First Ministers to Discuss Corona Again

The acting Chancellor Angela Merkel, her likely successor Olaf Scholz and the heads of government from the federal states were going to talk about Corona, a court decision and the way ahead in the ongoing fourth wave today. Will there be additional measures against the virus?

Berlin, November 30th, 2021. Update: 9:51 a.m. (The Berlin Spectator) — Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court just announced an important decision. The ‘Corona Emergency Brake’ was legal. Back in April, the law had given Chancellor Angela Merkel’s federal government the right to impose strict anti-Corona measures on the federal states, including nightly curfews and contact restrictions.

Kretschmer Wants More Rights

When the law was pushed through the Bundestag in spring, many lawsuits were filed against it by numerous plaintiffs, including regular citizens, lawyers and politicians. The court just dismissed the lawsuit. Of course, the decision has implications for the present and future as well. Now, the pandemic is stronger than ever, in spite of the fact that 68.4 percent of all Germans and residents of other nationalities have been fully vaccinated. On the other hand, things would be a lot worse if they were not immunized.

The ‘Emergency Brake’ law has expired by now. Germany’s future government came up with a new law which gives the federal states the right to put in place strict measures. They can cancel sports and cultural events. States that were hit harder than others, including Saxony, already have nightly curfews for unvaccinated persons. Because of the extremely high infection numbers in most of the country, Michael Kretschmer, Saxony’s First Minister, demanded “a larger case of instruments”, which means he wants more rights in the fight against the pandemic. In his state, the Seven Day Incidence stands at 1,268.9.

New ‘Emergency Brake’ Demanded

In spring, Angela Merkel had prepared the ‘Emergency Brake’ law because several First Ministers failed to implement the rules they themselves had agreed to at ‘Corona conferences’ with the Chancellor. There was a time when there seemed to be some kind of a contest. Whoever had the least strict Corona rules would win. In all cases, the reality proved the cautious Chancellor right.

Bavaria’s First Minister Markus Söder has been on Mrs. Merkel’s side most of the time since the crisis began. Ahead of today’s ‘Corona conference’, which is scheduled to commence in the early afternoon, he demanded a “federal emergency brake”. Christmas is three and a half weeks away. Will there be new contact restrictions or other harsh measures before the holidays begin?

45,753 New Corona Infections

According to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s Seven Day Incidence decreased a tiny bit, from 452.4 to 452.2. There are 45,753 new Corona infections, about 400 more than there were last Tuesday. In the past 24 hours, 388 Corona-related deaths were reported. The number of COVID-19 patients in Germany’s intensive care units rose to 4,599.

All relevant Corona numbers for Germany, and daily Corona updates, can be found in our Corona chronology.

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