Berlin | The German Minister of Health spoke out on Thursday in favor of the start of easing before the end of winter of restrictive measures linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We cannot stay in this harsh confinement all winter, our society would not take it well,” Jens Spahn told regional press group Funke, as public impatience grows stronger. .
In addition, “the figures are encouraging, we are seeing a significant downward trend in new infections,” added the Minister.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her part, evoked, without giving a date, solutions to gradually reopen schools, during a citizen dialogue with families and mothers raising their children alone, for whom the restrictive measures in vigor are particularly trying.
“The objective is as much as possible of normality as quickly as possible”, she assured, citing as a possible first step the organization of alternating courses, like what is happening in Austria.
The current situation “puts our nerves on edge”, she admitted. “I never wished I had to make such decisions,” she added.
The so-called incidence rate, namely the average number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, fell below 100, to 87 on Thursday, and is approaching 50, the threshold desired by the authorities, below which the easing of the partial containment in place in Germany is possible.
However, the Minister of Health did not want to commit to a start of deconfinement as of February, while the restrictions have for the moment been programmed to last until the 14 of the current month.
“It is not possible to pronounce with certainty on the situation in which we will find ourselves on February 14”, warned Mr. Spahn.
Currently, the Germans are invited to avoid contact as much as possible, with the spread of teleworking, the closure of schools, kindergartens, non-food shops, restaurants, bars, cultural and sporting places, as well as a strict restriction on meetings.
Several virologists have warned against a premature exit from confinement, in particular because of the risk posed by the variants of the virus responsible for the disease of COVID-19.