ARCHIV - 19.05.2022, Berlin: Friedrich Merz, CDU-Bundesvorsitzender und Unions-Fraktionsvorsitzender, spricht neben Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (SPD) im Bundestag nach der Regierungserklärung des Kanzlers zum bevorstehenden EU-Gipfel. (zu dpa «Merz wirft Scholz mangelnde Bereitschaft zur Zusammenarbeit vor») Foto: Kay Nietfeld/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

CDU leader Friedrich Merz spoke out against a nationwide mask requirement in autumn. “A general mask requirement in public spaces? no On what grounds?” Merz, who is also chairman of the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told the German Press Agency in Berlin when asked whether he was in favor of such a duty. The 66-year-old also emphasized that he would “definitely not” be vaccinated against Corona every three months from autumn.

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) made it clear on Friday that he expects masks to be compulsory across the board from October 1st. Merz emphasized that he was against such an obligation “just because of suspicion, because encroachments on fundamental rights must be carefully justified”. But if there are certain endangered rooms – hospitals, old people’s homes, care facilities to protect the residents and the people working there – his answer is yes to a mask requirement.

When asked whether he was prepared to be vaccinated against Corona every three months from autumn, Merz replied: “Certainly not.” From his family doctor’s point of view, he had three vaccinations and a corona disease at the beginning of the pandemic enough protection. This has also been measured and verified. “I don’t believe that we are now continuing the vaccination debate in this way.”

Merz violently attacked the Minister of Health: “The way Mr. Lauterbach communicates and acts, he creates chaos everywhere and also unsettles the population.” This would possibly mobilize opponents of vaccination even more, he warned.

Lauterbach had explained on Friday that it was not the case that a vaccination would only be valid for three months and that one had to be vaccinated every three months. This deadline for exceptions to the mask requirement indoors was chosen because, according to the existing view, vaccinations protect against infection during this period. They provided much longer protection against serious infections. Getting vaccinated every three months would also be “completely nonsensical from a medical point of view,” he said.

Against the background of the dispute over the traffic light plans, Merz called for a new infection protection law: “I can only recommend that the federal government not come to parliament with these uncoordinated, immature proposals in the fall.” It was surprising to him that the FDP and SPD were topics had decided together, “which obviously not only met with no approval in part of the coalition, but even met with strong rejection”.

At the same time, the CDU chairman warned of a confusing patchwork quilt in the corona rules in the coming autumn and winter. If there are different characteristics of the infection process in individual federal states, this must be taken into account. “But the legitimate need of the population is that there is as uniform and understandable a regulation as possible in all parts of the Federal Republic of Germany.”