Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants access to the free corona citizen tests to be significantly restricted. Only patients with symptoms should be eligible, as well as other selected groups of people such as small children and pregnant women. This emerges from the ministry’s “Corona Autumn Strategy”, which is available to the dpa news agency. The “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (“RND”) had previously reported about it. The free offer to all citizens is only fixed until the end of June.
The paper mentions other groups and occasions for free citizen tests:
However, an easily accessible test infrastructure, including in pharmacies, should be retained, reports the “RND”. In the future, however, the federal government wants to pay the test centers less money per antigen rapid test and PCR test for the citizens. “The overall costs are to be reduced by about half,” writes the ministry in its strategy paper. The test regulation should be amended by the end of June.
Depending on availability, Lauterbach also wants to purchase a sufficient number of vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant from the manufacturers Moderna and Biontech. From September, an “adapted vaccination campaign” should then be carried out in order to advertise the fourth vaccination “especially among the older population group”.
The “Corona Autumn Strategy” includes seven points that Lauterbach recently presented. In addition to the new test regulation and a new vaccination campaign, the focus is on optimizing the medical treatment concept for corona disease, protecting vulnerable groups, better recording of daily hospital data, a protection concept for daycare centers and schools and changing the Infection Protection Act.
Most recently, pressure had increased on the federal government from the federal states to quickly create a legal basis for further protective requirements in the event of a new corona wave in autumn. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia called for an amendment to the Infection Protection Act to be presented before the summer break before the two-day consultation of the health ministers this Wednesday.
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) rejected the demands. “We have agreed on a well-considered and serious schedule within the federal government,” he told the “RND”. “All prime ministers agreed to this at the last prime ministers’ conference.”
Health Minister Lauterbach is assuming an amicable solution. As soon as the expert council presents its report on the measures taken to contain the pandemic, the federal government will “agree amicably and quickly,” the SPD politician said on Tuesday on ARD.
The evaluation of the previous corona containment measures by the German Council of Experts is to be presented on June 30th. The current regulations in the Infection Protection Act expire on September 23.