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  • Germany is extending its national coronavirus locked down by three weeks in an effort to reduce stubbornly high infection and death rates.

  • Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders also agreed to tighten some restrictions, including curbs on social contacts and limits on people's movements in the worst affected regions.

  • Germany's latest official figures show over 21,000 new infections and 1000 deaths.

  • Underscoring the situation's urgency, Germans have been feeling the effect of tougher Corona restriction since last year, but the lock down is about to get tighter still.

  • We're going to extend the measures which we agreed in December until the 31st of January and in some areas we will have to introduce even tougher measures.

  • Infection numbers have not dropped as sharply as hoped and there is a new fear of the faster spreading variant of the virus, which could put massive strain on the health care system if it takes hold in Germany, there is really major concern about the virus mutation.

  • If it's true that mutated viruses tend to displace the existing strains and um or aggressive, we could be facing difficult times ahead.

  • What's happened in Great Britain shows we must not underestimate this kind of thing.

  • And so the chancellor and state premiers have agreed and extended.

  • Locked down.

  • Private meetings will be limited to the members of a household and only one other person where infections are high, people will be told to stay within 15 kilometers of their home schools, and many shops will remain closed and people arriving from outside Germany will need a Corona test and have to spend at least five days in quarantine.

  • Restricting movement in infection hotspots could prevent a repeat of scenes like these at the weekend, when hundreds of people ignored police warnings and headed for ski slopes.

  • But so far it's not clear Howell.

  • The new rules will be enforced.

  • Hopes for progress in rolling back the pandemic now rest on vaccination.

  • New vaccines are set to be approved, but it's expected to be many months before enough people are immunized.

  • For now, Germans face a longer locked down and no clarity about when it might be lifted Well, for more.

  • Now I'm joined by Yanis Diamond.

  • He's a doctor and also a member of the German Parliament for the Green Party.

  • Dr Dominy, do you support the new coronavirus restrictions announced by the German government today or yesterday.

  • Rather good morning.

  • To my opinion, the resolutions are definitely necessary, but also they are not sufficient.

  • I'm very concerned as a doctor that we don't have a long lasting crisis mode already.

  • And when I look on the resolutions from yesterday, there are three devastating gaps in political action which I think are really definitely necessary firsthand.

  • We urgently need rapid testing as a self test for working public health screening.

  • The second we need to get faster with vaccination.

  • And third, we really need a working strategy with contact tracing, which still is a lack off a sufficient strategy over here in Germany.

  • Let's talk then, just a moment about the vaccination strategy because many are criticized the government's policies as being too slow.

  • The rollout of the vaccine, what do you think could have been done better there?

  • Well, if we look at the numbers, Germany has only vaccinated about 24% off all available vaccination units at the moment, and this is not enough.

  • We really need to scale up these numbers, and the most important part is to vaccinate so more older people.

  • And if we think about our own grand parents.

  • We know they are.

  • Yeah, they have restriction in movement.

  • They have difficulties to get unemployment.

  • And it would be, Yeah, much more sufficient toe.

  • Bring vaccination to the older people by yeah, using general protection er's as part off vaccination teams, for example, then bringing those old people to the vaccination centers, which doesn't work.

  • Unfortunately, at the moment, in terms of testing, what do you make of the government's strategy?

  • You say home testing would be a good idea, but in a case where you have 20,000 new infections on a daily basis, is it even possible?

  • Does testing help in that situation off course?

  • Because testing is our only chance to interrupt infection chains.

  • And at the moment we only test basically people with strong symptoms.

  • But we don't test those people who did have only mild symptoms or even are just like contact person to a symptomatic covert 19 patient.

  • So basically we need to scale this part, and with new rapid energy test, there would be a possibility for everyone to do such test on their own.

  • But this is not allowed to German law at the moment and really needs to be changed to have a sufficient public health screening.

  • You say that German government should impose even tougher restrictions.

  • What sort of restrictions are you talking about?

  • Well, I certainly don't understand why we, on the one hand side sent pupil from school home, and they're not allowed to enter the schools.

  • But on the other hand, I see on daily basis, like crowded big offices where people are forced to work even without yeah, sufficient occupational occupational safety measures toe work there instead off a standard off.

  • Yeah, Home office work, Which should be Yeah.

  • Not just like a possibility, but the standard off work over here in Germany.

  • Mr.

  • Darman.

  • Dr.

  • Diamond, Thank you very much for talking with us.

  • That was Yanis Diamond from Germany's Green Party.

  • And he's a member of the German Parliament.

  • The bonus time.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Joining us now from or is Marcus you Garak?

  • He's director of the Institute for Public Law at the University of Cologne.

  • Thanks for joining us this morning.

  • First of all, Professor, what do you make of the government's move to restrict freedom of movement within 15 kilometers of a person's home.

  • Does that not raise legal questions about fundamental rights?

  • Yeah.

  • Good morning.

  • And thanks for having me off.

  • Course it does.

  • Yeah.

  • Inhabitants off hotspots are not permitted to travel more than 15 kilometers from their place off residents unless they have a valid reasons such as going toe work to the doctor or providing essential chaos.

  • Day trips are explicitly not considered a valid reason.

  • And there are currently about 70 District's nationwide where this value has been exceeded, according to the Robert Koch Institut.

  • So I expect a flat off lawsuits.

  • And in Germany, every citizen can take legal action against governmental decrease in two ways.

  • First, she or he can appeal to special administrative course, and in addition, he can file a constitutional complaint.

  • And both are very effective ways in comparison to many other nations.

  • Okay, so you expect that to be challenged the restriction on freedom of movement.

  • But there's another newly announced restriction.

  • It allows households to meet only one further person in private.

  • What about that?

  • How can that possibly be enforced?

  • Yeah, Actually, I don't think it cannot be enforced.

  • Nobody really can control these regulations.

  • So that is why we need great acceptance in the population.

  • Otherwise all these measures will be in vain.

  • They will not work and I expect the police only to come If, for example, neighbors actively inform the authorities.

  • But it's upto up to now.

  • It is still unclear whether these new title contact restrictions will be binding in private residences.

  • That is something we do not know right now.

  • Well, Germany, of course, is a parliamentary democracy.

  • But these measures of being imposed without parliamentary debate, what do you make of that we are amidst the national highest crisis.

  • So I completely understand that the administration wants to move forward and wants to move quick decisions that can be adapted toe the current situation.

  • But we should not forget that parliament is the heart of our democracy.

  • By questioning and challenging the government, parliament can help to refine and tow improve policies and their implementation.

  • The parliamentary process itself lends legitimacy toe the government's actions, improving that they have been thoroughly considered and debated.

  • That is why I want Toe explicitly emphasized that we need a stronger involvement off the German parliament and finally the question of immunization.

  • The vaccines are now being delivered the rollout is kind of slow.

  • Do you see any legal implications involved there?

  • Any legal problems associated with that off course, because someone will have to decide who will get the vaccine first and who will get the vaccine at a later time moment in time.

  • So this is also another question where I think we need parliament parliament involvement because parliament can use the lift experience off their constituents.

  • So it's It's extremely important that the Parliament has has the last world and makes the final decision, and we should be very reluctant to give too much power to the administration in these with regard to these questions, Professor are correct.

  • Thank you very much for talking with us today.

  • That was Marcus are correct director of the Institute of Public Law at the University of Cologne.

  • Thank you.

  • Take a look at some of the other developments in the pandemic.

  • China has denied entry to a team from the World Health Organization trying to investigate the origins of the virus in Wuhan.

  • Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have stepped up covert restrictions around the capital Beijing, following an increase in coronavirus cases in Hebei Province.

  • South Korea is rolling out mass testing for 70,000 prisoners and staff After a recent prison outbreak in Seoul.

  • And as medical facilities in the US city of Los Angeles struggle to cope with a surge of cases, ambulance workers have been told they should not transport patients to hospitals if their chances of survival are very low.

Germany is extending its national coronavirus locked down by three weeks in an effort to reduce stubbornly high infection and death rates.

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Germany tightens lockdown restrictions: Are they legal? | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/06
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