The amendments to the Infection Protection Act as laid out in the 3rd Act to Protect the Population specify more precisely under which circumstances and preconditions protective measures can be taken to stem the spread of COVID-19. "The virus is dynamic, so we have to be dynamic too," stressed Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn in the German Bundestag. The basic premise is that protective measures to address COVID-19 are only possible because the Parliament has ascertained the presence of an epidemiological situation on a national scale.
The Act also stipulates that measures that involve restricting fundamental rights and freedoms must be tied to specific incidences (i.e. the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period). Particularly serious restrictions imposed on fundamental rights, including the freedom of assembly, freedom to practice religion, confinement measures, and bans on access to care homes and facilities are tied to specific preconditions – for instance that other measures have not helped.
Legal basis for measures ranging from procuring medical drugs to compensatory payments
The 3rd Act to Protect the Population also includes a large number of legal bases for additional measures that are indispensable to address the pandemic. They include regulating online registration for travellers entering Germany, the use of rapid antigen tests, the measures adopted to strengthen the public health system, and the procurement and financing of essential medical drugs and vaccines.
The 3rd Act to Protect the Population takes the previous two acts to the next level and brings them into line with the current requirements in view of the pandemic, while taking into account new developments and findings.