‘The pandemic is over’: Top German virologist’s remarks sparks debate over whether the country will FINALLY end mask rules
- One of Germany’s top virologists Christian Drosten has said the pandemic is over
- His comments have sparked a debate over remaining restrictions in Germany
- People in Germany must still wear face masks on long distance public transport
- German public are also required to provide a negative test to enter a hospital
- Justice Minister Marco Bushmann is now calling for the measures to be lifted
Arguments have broken out in Germany over the remaining Coronavirus restrictions after one of the country’s top virologists stated that the pandemic is over.
The bulk of restrictions imposed at the height of the pandemic have been scrapped but, unlike other European countries, people in Germany are still required to wear face masks on long distance public transport and doctor’s surgeries.
Masks and a negative test are mandatory to enter hospitals and nursing homes.
Local transport rules are a matter for Germany’s 16 state governments, some of which have dropped mask mandates. Some have also scrapped requirements for infected people to isolate at home.
Christian Drosten, a professor of virology at Berlin’s Charite Hospital, has been quoted as saying that the Coronavirus pandemic is over
But the comments by Christian Drosten, a professor of virology at Berlin’s Charite Hospital published in the Daily Tagesspiegel has prompted a debate about the justification for the remaining restrictions.
‘We are experiencing the first endemic wave with SARS-COV 2 this winter; my assessment is that, with this, the pandemic is over,’ he was quoted as saying.
He added his only reservation would be a major new mutation which he does not ‘expect at the moment’.
Justice Minister Marco Bushmann is using the quote to call for the protection measures to be lifted.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote that the law allows federal restrictions to be dropped before their scheduled end on April 7 if the situation is better than was expected in the Autumn, writing ‘this is now the case’.
Buschmann’s Free Democrats, the smallest of three parties in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition, have long pressed for the fewest restrictions possible.
But the other two centre-left governing parties disagree. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told German news agency DPA ‘an immediate end to all measures would be reckless.’
‘Hospitals are full, the staff overloaded, excess mortality is high and winter isn’t over yet,’ he said.