The Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, warned in an interview published by the daily Rheinische Post that the second wave of infections has already started in Germany. “Every day we have new outbreaks of infection that can lead to a very large number of cases,” said politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU Conservative Party. Health authorities have to deal with this wave every day, “and this is working surprisingly well,” Kretschmer said. In his opinion, the German federal system is an advantage, because it allows a more precise and effective control of the epidemic at local and regional level than in the case of countries with centralized systems, such as France or Poland.
More infections due to holidays abroad
Despite the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Germans spend their summer holidays abroad. There have been various criticisms of German tourists who did not follow the rules of social distance and hygiene on holiday, as in the case of partygoers on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where local authorities were forced to close several bars and clubs again.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) believes that the high number of infections is primarily due to the return of many Germans from holidays in countries considered at risk.
Hundreds of Germans reveled in Palma de Mallorca without worrying about anti-coronavirus rules
On Friday (July 24th), health ministers in the 16 federal states agreed to set up several test centers at airports. Thus, travelers coming from risk areas will have the opportunity to take the test directly at the airport. Whoever has a negative result is exempt from such a 14-day quarantine, normally imposed on travelers who have been in a country considered a risk area. Currently, 130 states are considered risk areas by Germany due to the high number of coronavirus infections. The Republic of Moldova is on this list, while Romania (where the number of new infections reached a new record of 1,284 in 24 hours on Saturday) is not – at least at present – among the states qualified by Germany as risk areas . The Federal Republic considers the countries where more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants have been registered in the last 7 days as risk areas.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous federal state, airports in Düsseldorf, Cologne / Bonn and Dortmund opened free test centers on Saturday for travelers returning from problem areas. Frankfurt Airport (Hesse) has already had a paid test center for passengers since June.
In an interview with the public radio station Deutschlandfunk, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he was checking whether it was legally possible to introduce mandatory coronavirus tests for citizens returning to Germany from high-risk areas.
das / lp (dpa, afp)