German ministers reveal plans for relaxing Covid rules from March 20

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach speaks at a press conference with Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (Not Pictured) at the Federal Ministry of Health on the amendment to the Infection Protection Act (IFSG). Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

(dpa) РMarch 9, 2022 РThe German government  revealed more details of its plans to ease most of the regulations to contain Covid-19 later this month.

According to draft legislation, after March 20 German states will still have the power to enforce coronavirus tests and mask-wearing in some areas of life, such as in hospitals, care homes, or on public transport. They could also keep this in schools.

Most other restrictions will no longer be backed by legislation, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said in a press conference alongside Justice Minister Marco Buschmann on Wednesday.

“As far as possible, we are returning to normal life,” Buschmann said.

The focus in the future will be on containing local outbreaks, with regulations in place to battle “hotspots” even after most Covid-19 restrictions have expired, Lauterbach said.

Such measures targeting hotspots could be introduced on the level of a city district, or city-wide, or even regionally or nationally.

Infection numbers are rising again in Germany. The seven-day incidence rate of new infections hit 1,319 on Wednesday, higher than the day before, and 150 higher than the same day last week. The number of deaths per day is also refusing to come down, with 314 registered in the past 24 hours.

The hospitalization rate is at 6.62 per 100,000 people over the past week – a slight increase from Monday’s figure.

“I still hope that we can control the increase,” Lauterbach said.