FRANKFURT (REUTERS) – The three German parties working to agree on a coalition government by early December will present proposals to combat a raging fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country on Monday (Nov 8), newspaper Die Welt said.
“On Monday, we will present to Parliament a draft law for a suitable and decisive fight against the coronavirus,” said Mr Dirk Wiese, deputy parliamentary leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
The plan, which includes the reintroduction of free tests, comes from the SPD, Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), which together hold a parliamentary majority, and will be discussed by the Bundestag, the Lower House of Parliament, later this week.
It is aimed to come into force before a national state of epidemic emergency expires on Nov 25.
The newly convened Bundestag is scheduled to consult on necessary law changes in sessions on Nov 11 and 18.
The Greens and FDP, especially, have pushed free testing, which was abolished to incentivise people to get jabs, but those refusing to be injected up to now are not seen budging.
Doctors have supported calls for the reduction or waiver of test fees. They say the advantage, aside from serving the general cause of containing the virus, is to retain a good overview of its spread.
“Free citizen tests can be an important tool, especially in autumn,” said an FDP health spokesman.
Germany will soon open its traditional Christmas markets, which attract crowds.
The Robert Koch Institute for infectious disease reported 23,543 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, up by 6,656 from a week ago.
The leader of Bavaria state, Mr Markus Soeder, called for more aligned strategies between the federal level and the country’s 16 states to avoid a patchwork of regulations.
He called for more mandatory tests, more decisive offers of booster shots, and possibly mandatory vaccinations for certain professions.
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