Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach no longer considers it necessary to shut down public life through a lockdown. However, he does not want to completely rule out school closures due to potential virus variants. With subsidized tests, he trusts the honesty of the citizens.
Unlike the Chancellor and the FDP, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach does not want to completely rule out school closures in the upcoming preparations for a large corona wave in autumn. "I think they are very, very unlikely. They would then be the very last resort. But I would be careful to rule them out categorically, because: We don't know which (virus) variants are coming," said the SPD politician in the ARD program "Anne Will" on repeated request.
On the other hand, he no longer considers an extensive shutdown of public life through a lockdown to be necessary as a protective instrument. "We simply have too good an immune status in the population for that," he explained. The planned measures should give countries the tools to cover different scenarios. "We also have to be prepared for very difficult variations," he said. "It has to be a comprehensive tool kit, so it can't be a narrow-gauge affair."
Lauterbach is negotiating with Justice Minister Marco Buschmann from the FDP about the measures that are fundamentally possible in the future. They are intended to follow on from the legal basis for the basic measures, which have meanwhile been severely restricted, and which expire in September. Buschmann had already positioned himself clearly and publicly ruled out a number of possible protective measures, including exit restrictions and school closures. Chancellor Olaf Scholz also said on Sunday: "There should be no more school closures."
Lauterbach, on the other hand, did not want to comment on the details and pointed to the confidentiality of the negotiations agreed with Buschmann. "I think it's like that, so we both should have a keen interest in negotiating confidentially," he said on the show. And on Will's statement that that was obviously not the case, he added: "I think he will stick to it."
With regard to the quick tests in test centers and pharmacies, which will be subject to a fee in the future, the minister made it clear that it is sufficient for citizens to confirm in writing their entitlement to a subsidized test for three euros. "We rely a bit on the honesty of the citizens," said Lauterbach. Without federal subsidies, the tests cost 9.50 euros. With a subsidy, they are available, for example, for visitors to family celebrations, concerts or older people over 60. Only certain risk groups receive free quick tests.