– We are thinking about shortening the time of quarantine and isolation. Given the large number of new infections indicated by Omicron spread model calculations, other quarantine periods will be needed. Other countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, have already tightened isolation requirements for fully vaccinated people who test positive, explains Lauterbach in a commentary to ZDF.
Lauterbach also emphasizes that it is particularly important to change the rules of quarantine, especially for those people who work in key infrastructure during a pandemic, e.g. in care facilities or hospitals.
“This step must be well prepared”
Strategies for the fight against Omikron and changes concerning, inter alia, the curtailments of quarantine periods are to be discussed at a federal government meeting with federal state governments scheduled for Friday 7 January. – This step must be well prepared in order not to create unnecessary risks. But given the large number of cases, we can assume that we need different quarantine and isolation periods, adds Lauterbach. Klaus Holetschek (CSU), the Bavarian Minister of Health, recently called for a booster to be released from quarantine.
Due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious variant of Omikron in Germany, speed is of the utmost importance. “Unfortunately, we have to take into account the severe course of infection in unvaccinated people,” emphasized Lauterbach, also appealing to all unvaccinated to “have at least the first vaccination, because it significantly reduces the risk of serious illness and even death.”
The council of experts advising on the fight against the pandemic to the federal government also appeals for the need to act urgently, stressing: “It would be extremely burdensome for the health care system and all infrastructure, such as clinics, fire brigades and energy, if many people fell ill or had to go into quarantine. at the same time”.
Will Germany follow in the footsteps of the USA and Great Britain?
Following in the footsteps of the UK and the US, the German government plans to shorten the quarantine period for people suffering from asymptomatic COVID-19 to prevent staff shortages in areas critical to basic services and security.
– The observations so far show that Omikron less frequently leads to serious courses of the disease. It differs from the previous options, so the quarantine rules need to be adjusted, Tino Sorge (CDU), spokesman for Bundestag health policy, told Die Welt.
Lauterbach assumes that the Omikron variant will soon dominate all of Germany – as is already the case in Schleswig-Holstein. That’s why, from Tuesday, the federal state’s government is tightening up the rules on the pandemic.
New restrictions in Germany. They also include those vaccinated against COVID-19