Merkel wants to announce lockdown and dissipates German Länder

The German cabinet has prepared a bill that will allow it to proclaim its own lockdown. Now the regional or local authorities are still deciding whether to introduce a lockdown, but Chancellor Merkel wants to be able to limit this autonomy. The prime ministers of some Länder estimate the corona threat differently from the Federal Government and oppose stricter measures.

If the number of corona infestations anywhere three consecutive days in a week exceeds 100 per 100,000 inhabitants, the Federal Emergency Brake will be pulled. There is a curfew in the city or region between 9pm and 5am, non-essential shops close and people are allowed to receive up to one visitor at home. If the number of infections exceeds 200, the schools will close.

In fact, the federal government had long agreed these rules with the Länder, says correspondent Judith van de Hulsbeek. “But little of it came into practice. The Länder is always making up new things to get out of the strict rules.”

Two-thirds majority required

In all the Länder, except Schleswig-Holstein, there are currently more than 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a week, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute. In Saxony and Thuringia, the number of new infections is above 200.

The bill has yet to be approved by both chambers of parliament. That will be exciting, Van de Hulsbeek expects, because the cabinet is in a hurry. “That should happen this week. If the government wants it so quickly, a large majority in the Bundestag is required. Part of the opposition has already indicated its opposition.” For example, automatic curfew is sensitive.