ARCHIV - 17.06.2022, Berlin: Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Bundesminister für Gesundheit, spricht bei einer Pressekonferenz zur Corona-Lage im Sommer in der Bundespressekonferenz. Anders als der Kanzler und die FDP möchte Bundesgesundheitsminister Karl Lauterbach bei der anstehenden Vorbereitung auf eine große Corona-Welle im Herbst auch Schulschließungen nicht völlig ausschließen. (zu dpa: «Lauterbach: Schulschließungen nicht gänzlich ausschließen») Foto: Michael Kappeler/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Unlike the Chancellor and the FDP, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach does not want to completely rule out school closures in the upcoming preparations for a large corona wave in autumn.

“I think it’s very, very unlikely. They would then be the very last resort. But categorically excluding them, I would be careful because: We don’t know which (virus) variants are coming,” said the SPD politician on Sunday evening in the ARD program “Anne Will” when asked repeatedly.

Self-government, telematics, Morbi-RSA: The briefing on health

On the other hand, he no longer considers an extensive shutdown of public life through a lockdown to be necessary as a protective instrument. “We simply have too good an immune status in the population for that,” he explained.

Lauterbach is negotiating with Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) about the measures that are fundamentally possible in the future. Because in September the legal basis for the basic measures, which have now been severely restricted, will expire – and at the same time there are fears that the number of infections, which is already increasing, will rise again sharply.

Buschmann has already ruled out a number of possible earlier protective measures, including school closures. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also said on Sunday: “There should be no more school closures.”

Lauterbach said the planned measures should give countries the tools to cover different scenarios. “We also have to be prepared for very difficult variations,” he said. “It has to be an extensive tool kit, so it can’t be a narrow-gauge affair.”

Politicians from several parties are also calling for a future focus on testing rather than renewed access restrictions such as 2G or 3G (vaccinated, recovered, tested).

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had already said in an ARD interview on Sunday that no drastic measures were necessary for autumn and winter as in previous years. The nationwide legal basis for the Corona measures expires on September 23.

The Green health politician Janosch Dahmen spoke out in favor of compulsory testing if the mask requirement and vaccination campaign were not sufficient. “If we find that despite the masks in the interior and booster vaccinations, the infection dynamics are increasing again, it may be that effective hygiene concepts including access controls are needed again,” he told the “Welt”.

In this case, a general obligation to test makes sense, regardless of whether someone has been vaccinated or recovered. “Because those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered can also become infected – albeit less frequently – and infect others.” It is now necessary to create the legal basis for such a step.

The health policy spokesman for the Union faction, Tino Sorge, spoke out in favor of it in the “Welt”. “Unfortunately, current vaccines do not protect against infection,” he said. Tests would create security in many places next autumn. The “Augsburger Allgemeine” said Sorge: “Where tests are required to protect vulnerable groups, they must continue to be available free of charge.”

The health policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Andrew Ullmann, spoke out in the “Welt” for more personal responsibility. “Personally, in the current phase of the pandemic, I would be in favor of clear and stringent recommendations instead of continuous legal obligations.”