Berlin (dpa) – The Bundestag and Bundesrat paved the way for the planned grand coalition changes to the infection protection law on Wednesday. In the Bundestag, 415 MEPs voted for reform in order to put the corona measures on a more precise legal basis in the future.
236 voted against, 8 abstained in the roll call vote. Subsequently, at a special meeting of the Federal Council, the majority of federal states also approved the so-called Third Civil Protection Act. It can come into force after being published by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and published in the Federal Official Journal.
When several thousand participants protested against the change in law and state corona policy near the Bundestag on Wednesday alongside the debate in parliament, there were disputes with the police and the use of water cannons. Police also spoke of more than 100 arrests.
THE LAW OF THE UNION AND THE SPD DEFEND
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has defended corona restrictions in the debate and campaigned for greater confidence in crisis management. The rise in the number of infections sooner or later led to increased suffering in intensive care units and loss of control, the CDU politician said. Spahn also campaigned for the law in the Federal Council. In the Bundestag, SPD health politician Bärbel Bas rejected fears that the reform of the infection protection law would expand the powers of federal and state governments. “Exactly the opposite is the case,” she said.
AFD FAIL WITH SHIFT
At the start of the debate, the AfD initially attempted to remove the topic from the agenda, but failed due to unified resistance from other groups. The parliamentary director of the AfD parliamentary group, Bernd Baumann, said: “Today’s bill is a government authorization which has not existed since historic times”. MEPs from other political groups rejected the allegations. The parliamentary director of the SPD parliamentary group, Carsten Schneider, said that the AfD played with the comparison with the enabling law of 1933. “They do not only discredit our democracy, they make it contemptible,” he said. highlighted.
CONCERNING THE OPPOSITION
Speakers from the FDP, the Greens and the Left Party criticized the reform of the infection protection law. The planned new regulations do not give governments a guardrail, but rather issue them “a free ticket”, said Christian Lindner, leader of the FDP parliamentary group. It is a fundamental democratic issue that governments should never vote on over such massive encroachments on fundamental and civil rights, said left-wing Parliamentary Executive Director Jan Korte.
THE LAW IS TO SPECIFY CORONA MEASURES
The aim of the law – officially the “third law of civil protection” – is, among other things, to legally support the corona measures that have been promulgated by ordinance and to clarify them. Until now, the infection protection law generally refers only to “necessary protective measures” that “the competent authority” can take. With the amendment of the law, a new paragraph will be inserted that specifically lists the possible protective measures of governments and state authorities, such as distance requirements, exit and contact restrictions or restrictions in the cultural sector. and recreation – basically measures that have already been taken during the spring lockdown and in some cases as well. now apply to partial lockdown in November.
The law also stipulates the 7-day incidence of 35 and 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week, from which protective measures must be taken. It is also stipulated that statutory orders with corona protection measures are limited in time to four weeks. However, extensions are possible. In addition, regulations must be provided with a general justification.
NEW RULES FOR LOSS OF INCOME
The law also provides new rules in the event of loss of income. Compensation claims for parents who cannot work due to childcare must be extended and extended until March 2021. Anyone making an “avoidable trip” to foreign risk areas, on the other hand, should not should receive no compensation for loss of earnings for a required quarantine after his return. The federal government should also be able to regulate that uninsured people are also entitled to vaccinations and tests. Hospitals that suspend their operations should receive financial compensation.
The law on protection against infections had already been reformed several times in the wake of the corona pandemic. From the beginning of spring it was introduced that the Bundestag can determine an epidemic situation of national importance. The Bundestag did so immediately. According to the Infection Protection Act, this step is the basis for corona protection measures and special powers of the government to issue statutory ordinances in the fight against the pandemic without the consent of the Federal Council. These could be travel rules or test specifications. Normally, a yes from the regional chamber is required for ordinances. On Wednesday, at the request of the Union and the SPD, a majority in the Bundestag determined that an epidemic situation of national importance persisted.