On Monday, the federal and state governments took stock of the progress made to date with the current measures to stem the pandemic. At a press conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that the trend has not yet been reversed, but that the exponential rise in the numbers of new cases has been broken. The decision of the Chancellor and the premiers of Germany’s federal states notes that contacts should be scaled back to the absolute minimum, and that everyone is called on to continue to respect the formula already in place: AHA+AL – the German acronym for face coverings, hygiene, distancing, the Corona-Warn-App and regular airing of rooms. They urged everyone in Germany:
- to contact their doctor by telephone if they are suffering from respiratory problems, and obtain an incapacity for work certificate. The doctor will discuss with the patient whether or not the symptoms indicate the need for COVID testing or any further treatment.
- not to hold or attend any private parties or celebrations.
- to limit private meetings with friends, relatives and acquaintances to one specific household, including children and adolescents in the families.
- not to undertake any recreational activities or visit areas that are frequented by many people, and not to undertake any non-essential private trips or day trips for tourist purposes.
- to avoid spending any time in closed spaces that are frequented by many people for non-essential purposes and to avoid all non-essential travel with public transport.
- only to visit individuals, especially older and vulnerable people, if all family members are free of any symptoms of any sort and have not been exposed to higher risks in the days prior to the visit.
The following was also noted
- The tried and tested measures will be continued where an outbreak cluster is identified (e.g. inside companies, institutions, recreational groups, faith groups, family celebrations).
- The federal states will set up vaccination centres and structures that can be operationalised at short notice.
- As of December, vulnerable individuals will be able to obtain packets of 15 FFP2 face masks at a nominal charge.
- Hospitals are to be given the financial support they need to strengthen them.