NewsStiko boss calls for "much, much more" contact restrictions...

Stiko boss calls for "much, much more" contact restrictions because of Omikron – next federal state tightened

The corona situation in Germany is still tense. Stiko boss Thomas Mertens calls for significantly more contact restrictions “very quickly”. The news ticker.

  • Stiko boss Mertens has spoken out in favor of more contact restrictions. (see update from December 22nd, 9:40 a.m.)
  • Virologist Martin Stürmer criticizes the corona policy. (see update from December 22nd, 11.45 a.m.)
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania introduces contact restrictions on Christmas Eve. (see update from December 22nd, 1:55 p.m.)
  • This news ticker is updated regularly.

Update from December 22nd, 1:55 p.m.: In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the stricter contact restrictions for those who have recovered and those who have been vaccinated will apply from Friday (December 24th) and thus much earlier than in most other federal states. From Christmas Eve onwards, a maximum of ten people are allowed for private get-togethers. The cabinet of Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) changed the state’s corona regulation accordingly at a special meeting on Wednesday, the state chancellery in Schwerin said.

Schwesig had justified the preference of the contact restrictions with the infection situation, the high occupancy of the intensive care beds in the northeast and the low vaccination rate compared to other countries. The federal and state governments agreed on Tuesday to tighten the contact restrictions for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. The new rules should take effect in all countries by December 28th at the latest. Households with unvaccinated persons may meet with a maximum of two other people from another household. Children up to 14 years are excluded.

Corona in Germany: Child vaccinations are starting

Update from December 22nd, 1:15 p.m.: In the past week, the corona vaccinations for children between five and eleven years in Germany started. A total of 213,649 children in this age group have been vaccinated since then. This corresponds to a rate of 4.1 percent. That comes from the numbers of the vaccination rate monitoring of the RKI from Wednesday (December 22nd).

Yesterday, Tuesday, another 1.1 million corona vaccine doses were administered in Germany. “This means that at least 58.7 million people (70.5% of the total population) are fully vaccinated,” writes the RKI. “At least 28.1 million people (33.8%) also received a booster vaccination,” it says on the vaccination dashboard.

Corona in Germany: virologist criticizes politics – “a bit overslept again”

Update from December 22nd, 11.45 a.m.: According to the Frankfurt virologist Martin Stürmer, the decisions of the Bund-Länder-Round come too late. “With the doubling rate that Omikron shows, every day is important,” he said on Wednesday on Deutschlandfunk . Omikron was not just a threat since yesterday. Politicians could well be accused of having “overslept again” with the late meeting.

“Of course we all want to get back to normal. We want to enjoy these holidays and take a break. But I don’t think we can send the signal to relax, ”said Striker. He had the feeling that the signal was being conveyed: “We can still relax over Christmas, then we will apply the brakes again”. There are resolutions that will not come before the wave, but will react accordingly after the wave. “I would have wished for more,” said Striker.

Corona in Germany: Stiko boss calls for more contact restrictions

Update from December 22nd, 9:40 a.m.: The chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko), Thomas Mertens, has spoken out in favor of more extensive contact restrictions with a view to Omikron. In view of the easy transferability, “much, much more” contact restrictions should be made than is currently the case – and “very quickly”, Mertens told the Schwäbische Zeitung (Wednesday). Whether it would have to be a complete lockdown is now difficult to say, said the Stiko boss.

Thomas Mertens, Vorsitzender der Ständigen Impfkommission (STIKO).


Stiko boss Thomas Mertens calls for “much, much more” contact restrictions. (Archive image)

Regarding the recently approved corona vaccine from the US manufacturer Novavax, Mertens said that everyone – especially those at risk – should get vaccinated as quickly as possible and not wait. If someone cannot tolerate the vaccines currently available, then the new protein vaccine is an option, says Mertens. One should bear in mind, however, that we do not yet know as much about the new vaccine as we do about the vaccines that have been in widespread use for a long time.

Corona in Germany: Ethics Council votes for mandatory vaccination and vaccination register

Update from December 22nd, 6:26 a.m.: The corona trend in Germany continues – the incidence has fallen again. According to the RKI, the nationwide value on Wednesday morning was 289.0. For comparison: the day before it was 306.4, a week ago it was 353.0. The health authorities reported 45,659 new corona infections to the RKI within 24 hours.

But worries about Omikron are also growing in Germany. For the best possible protection against the mutant, a general vaccination requirement has been under discussion for weeks. The German Ethics Council has now also positioned itself in the debate. The majority of them advocate compulsory vaccination – either for all adults over the age of 18 or only for people who are particularly at risk. In facilities with people who are particularly at risk of Corona, the compulsory vaccination has already been decided. As can be seen from a statement published by the committee on Wednesday, 20 out of 24 members are in favor of expanding the regulation, albeit in two differentiated versions.

The Ethics Council rejects compulsory vaccination associated with physical violence. At the same time, the experts recommend the introduction of a national vaccination register and many vaccination offers to implement mandatory vaccination. According to the statement, the council sees a fundamental moral obligation to protect themselves and others through vaccination. “On the other hand, a general statutory vaccination requirement may only be used if coping with a serious crisis cannot be foreseen successfully without this measure.”

Corona vaccination light in Germany: Ethics Council emphasizes – “No panacea for a pandemic”

Before making their decision, the experts weighed up legal concerns and ethical principles. A total of 13 members then voted for a general vaccination requirement for all adults. Your argument: the sustainable control of the pandemic. Seven members advocated limiting compulsory vaccinations to those who are at high risk of a severe corona course. This appears to be sufficient to avoid overloading the health system, they justified their suggestion. Four voted against compulsory vaccination.

The Ethics Council also emphasizes that sufficient vaccine must be available in order to enforce mandatory vaccination and that such an obligation cannot break the current fourth corona wave. A vaccination requirement is also “not a panacea for the pandemic”, but can only be considered as part of a comprehensive strategy. At the beginning of December, the Conference of Prime Ministers asked the Ethics Council for an opinion on the general vaccination requirement.

Update from December 21, 8:05 p.m.: After Christmas, there will be contact restrictions again for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered in Germany. That was decided by the federal and state governments at today’s MPK. As of December 28th, only ten people will be allowed to meet in private. In addition, clubs and discos must be closed, large events without spectators take place and a ban on gatherings will be issued on New Year’s Eve.

The federal and state governments are putting further restrictions on the way, but are not based on the demands of the RKI, which immediately demanded maximum contact restrictions for Germany in the afternoon.

While MPK is running, the survey shows the clear opinion on a new corona lockdown

Update from December 21, 5:30 p.m.: While the Corona-MPK is running on new rules in Germany, a survey is causing a stir. According to a survey by RTL and ntv , almost two thirds of Germans are in favor of a lockdown in order to master the current corona situation. 66 percent are in favor of a general lockdown, which would include the closure of shops, clubs and leisure facilities as well as exit and contact restrictions. In contrast, 32 percent of those surveyed rejected a lockdown. The polling institute Forsa interviewed around 1000 people for the survey from December 17th to 20th. Already at the end of November almost two thirds of the people in Germany had approved a lockdown in the “Trend Barometer”.

According to the new survey, a large majority of 72 percent of German citizens are in favor of a general vaccination requirement. 26 percent are against it.

Update from December 21, 4:20 p.m.: At schools in Germany, the corona numbers have continued to decrease over the past week. As can be seen from data from the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) published on Tuesday, 86,000 corona infections were known among schoolchildren in the past week (previous week: 96,000). The number of students who were also in quarantine fell to 111,000 (previous week: 131,000).

The KMK presents figures on a weekly basis. According to this, there were restrictions on attendance at around 1400 schools in the past week (previous week: 1500). 38 schools were closed (previous week: 53). In front of the Corona-MPK, there are extended Christmas holidays for daycare centers and schools in the room.

Corona in Germany: Epidemic situation in Berlin

Update from December 21, 3:15 p.m.: The Berlin House of Representatives has decided on an epidemic situation as the legal basis for further corona measures. The coalition factions of the SPD, the Greens and the Left, as well as the CDU, voted on Tuesday for a corresponding motion from the Senate. The AfD voted against it, the FDP abstained. The Senate can now, for example, decide on new restrictions if the Corona situation requires it.

The new health senator Ulrike Gote (Greens) had previously made it clear in the plenary that this is to be expected because of the omicron variant – possibly even before Christmas. “Omikron is changing almost everything we’ve heard about the pandemic so far,” she said.

Corona in Germany: patient advocates criticize communication

Update from December 21, 2:58 p.m.: The German Foundation for Patient Protection has criticized the sometimes contradicting communication in view of the federal-state consultations on further corona measures. Board member Eugen Brysch told the German Press Agency on Tuesday: “What should be sensible on New Year’s Eve cannot be wrong on Christmas Eve.” Therefore, the question arises as to the point of introducing stricter measures only after Christmas.

The SPD politician Karl Lauterbach was only a few weeks ago the “chief admonisher of the republic” and is now making a “180 degree turn” as Federal Health Minister. Before the Prime Minister’s Conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), there were initially no new restrictions for the Christmas period.

Corona in Germany: Hamburg is pushing ahead at Christmas

Update from December 21, 1.40 p.m.: Hamburg is already restricting contacts for those who have been vaccinated and recovered at Christmas. Only a maximum of ten people are allowed to come together privately, said Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) on Tuesday after a meeting of the Senate. Children under the age of 14 are exempt from the contact restriction.

In addition, dance events would be banned from December 24th. The dance ban is in fact equivalent to closing clubs and discos *, as reported by There will also be a curfew from 11 p.m. for the catering trade. An exception is planned for New Year’s morning. Then pubs, restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open until 1 a.m.

Stricter restrictions already apply to unvaccinated people. You are only allowed to meet with the members of your own household and a maximum of two members of another household. In addition, the Senate passed the previously announced restrictions on New Year’s Eve. In addition to the ban on the sale of fireworks, there is an obligation to sell and gather at particularly popular locations.

Corona in Germany: Söder is “extremely irritated”

Update from December 21, 1:20 p.m.: At his press conference before the Corona summit, Markus Söder (CSU) was confronted with the RKI recommendation. After all, Christmas had been planned without restrictions so far. Bavaria’s Prime Minister referred to the federal government.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and the RKI would first have to come to an agreement on this question. But they would contradict each other completely. “The Federal Minister of Health said on Sunday: Christmas is not a problem. On Monday there will be a draft resolution for bans on contact on New Year’s Eve. Today the RKI says now immediately. Who speaks for whom? ”Asked Söder.

“I am very confused,” said Bavaria’s Prime Minister. He demands clarification at the federal level. The CSU boss finds the RKI statement as a signal “extremely unhappy shortly before such a meeting”. The federal and state corona summit is rising this afternoon.

Announcement to Scholz and countries: RKI recommends “maximum contact restrictions”

Update from December 21st, 12:39 pm: The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommends “maximum contact restrictions” due to the current Corona situation in Germany. These should “start immediately” and apply until mid-January, as the RKI wrote on Tuesday on Twitter.

In addition, “maximum infection preventive measures” and “maximum speed in vaccinating the population” are needed. Travel should be reduced to what is absolutely necessary; intensive accompanying communication is required to understand the measures. In a strategy paper, the RKI recommends, among other things, closing restaurants immediately and extending the Christmas holidays for daycare centers and schools.

Corona in Germany: Omikron should hit Germany in January

Update from December 21st, 12:25 p.m.: The draft resolution for today’s Corona-MPK provides for new contact restrictions also for vaccinated and convalescent people – but only from December 28th. The reason for this is said to be the expected start of the Omikron wave in Germany. This is reported by the picture .

According to this, Charité boss Heyo Kroemer, who also heads the Federal Government’s new Expert Council, is said to have informed Chancellery Wolfgang Schmidt (SPD) and the representatives of the federal states that the Omikron wave was to be expected in the first few days in January. The contact restrictions can only be maintained for a short period of time. Therefore, the measure should only take effect immediately before the start of the Omikron wave. Otherwise there is a risk that the end of the contact restrictions and the beginning of the new wave will coincide.

Die Hamburger Innenstadt in der Vorweihnachtszeit.


Contact restrictions should come from December 28th. (Archive image)

From a purely infectiological sight, Kroemer intended for a very timely and “long-term” introduction of the contact restrictions have spoken aloud picture. However, due to the legal situation and political debates, the Expert Council chose a “consensus-capable” path.

Corona in Germany: the number of cases continues to fall – RKI reassesses the risk of Omikron

First report from December 21: Berlin – The corona numbers in Germany are falling, but worries are increasing. The fears of the impending omicron wave are too great. On Tuesday (December 21st) the federal and state governments will meet to discuss further measures to contain the new variant. A new draft resolution, which was leaked in the run-up to the Corona MPK, provides for new contact restrictions – also for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered.

The nationwide seven-day incidence has decreased compared to the previous day. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the value on Tuesday morning as 306.4. For comparison: the day before the nationwide value was 316.0, a week ago it was 375.0 (previous month: 372.7). The health authorities in Germany reported 23,428 new corona infections * to the RKI within one day. Exactly one week ago there were 30,823 infections.

The number of reported corona infections * has been falling for almost three weeks. However, experts fear an imminent trend reversal due to the highly contagious and rapidly spreading omicron variant. The RKI also tightened its risk assessment on Monday. Overall, it rates the risk to the health of citizens as “very high”. People who have been vaccinated twice and those who have recovered are also exposed to a high risk, while the risk of illness for those who have been vaccinated three times is given as “moderate”. For those who have not been vaccinated, the risk of infection is “very high”.

Corona in Germany: intensive care physicians sure that Omikron will soon dominate

“We are relatively certain that Omikron * will be the dominant variant in Germany around the middle to the end of January,” said the President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx, of the Rheinische Post . Since too little is currently known about this virus variant, studies from abroad have to be studied, the development of incidences “closely monitored” and the situation sounded out.

Gernot Marx, Präsident Deutsche Interdisziplinäre Vereinigung für Intensiv- und Notfallmedizin (DIVI), nimmt an einer Pressekonferenz zur aktuellen Lage um die Corona Pandemie teil.


DIVI President Gernot Marx is certain that Omikron will soon also be dominant in Germany. (Archive image)

At the same time, Marx warned against overloading the intensive care units and the staff working there. The number of Covid patients in intensive care units in Germany is currently falling slightly again. But: “The workload is still very high, the workload is even higher, and the psychological stress on the teams is in some cases very close to what is humanly possible. Because the number of Covid patients in intensive care units is also falling because a large number of patients are dying, “explained Marx to the editorial network Germany (RND) . It is very difficult for the teams to endure.

The RKI * also fears a “sudden increase in the number of infections” and a rapid “overload of the health system” due to the rapid spread of Omikron. The aim must be to “slow down the dynamics of the spread of Omikron, to minimize serious illnesses and deaths and to relieve the health care system” through contact restrictions and other measures. It is possible that the Corona-MPK will decide on a “lockdown light” *. The world doctors boss criticized the half-heartedness * of the policy in advance. (ph with dpa) * and are an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

List of rubric lists: © Kay Nietfeld / dpa

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