Corona: Hessen tightened the 3G rule

More infections, especially more corona patients in intensive care units: This is why the state government has decided to take new protective measures. Antigen tests for 3G will soon no longer be sufficient.

Vaccinated, recovered or at least tested: Anyone who wants to go to a restaurant in Hesse, to a trade fair or to a concert, must meet this 3G rule. This is becoming stricter in Hessen. In many cases, only those who are more reliable and more expensive are considered to be tested in the sense of the rule PCR-Test have undergone. Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) and Health Minister Kai Klose (Greens) announced this on Monday afternoon in the State Chancellery in Wiesbaden.

Rapid antigen tests are often no longer sufficient. Such a test certificate is still sufficient for children and adolescents as well as people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and who can present a medical certificate. According to the Prime Minister, the new rules will apply from Thursday.

Critical first level reached

The decisions of the Corona cabinet in detail:

  • Many people who have not been vaccinated or recovered have to 3G events or public facilities present an up-to-date PCR test. Specifically, this applies to the interior areas of events, trade fairs and in the cultural sector, in leisure facilities, sports facilities, restaurants, casinos and amusement arcades as well as brothels.
  • The 3G rule also applies in the workplace. Employeesthat come into contact with customers like in the supermarket or at the hairdresser’s must be tested twice a week. Until now, the companies only had to offer this. Vaccinated and convalescent persons can exempt themselves from the obligation to test if they can prove their vaccination or convalescence status to their employer.
  • on Large events with more than 5,000 participants According to Bouffier, a negative corona test is sufficient for admission with a maximum of ten percent of the audience. Most of the rest of the audience must be vaccinated or have recovered.
  • Children and adolescents Hessen’s schools in the future, as in the prevention weeks, tests should be carried out three times a week instead of twice a week after the summer and autumn holidays – at least until the end of January.

Antigen exception in homes

Although infections have the most serious consequences there, employees in old people’s and nursing homes are exempted from the obligation to perform a PCR test. The more time-consuming PCR test, it is feared, is impractical and disrupts the workflow. “Then you have to wait two days for the result. Then there is no one left to work there,” said Bouffier.

The head of government rejected criticism of the corona strategy for schools. In the first week after the autumn vacation, 858 infections were found in 1.5 million tests in schools. “That’s 0.04 percent, a very small percentage,” said Bouffier. There are almost no children who are seriously ill.

Why not 2G right away?

But why did the state government not immediately resort to the 2G rule with a far-reaching lockdown for unvaccinated people – as Saxony has just introduced and how it is now also applicable in Austria? Bouffier and Klose defended their strategy. Hesse’s 3G plus concept brings “a high level of security,” said the Minister of Social Affairs. In addition, the distance rule and mask requirement are not repealed.

The Corona situation in Saxony, but also in parts of Thuringia and Bavaria, is also more dramatic, emphasized the Prime Minister. In Hesse, the vaccination rate is also higher than there. According to his own statement, 2G would consider Bouffier if the pandemic continued to spread in this country.

In Bouffier’s opinion, a federal-state conference with all prime ministers is urgently needed in order to take further decisions. This concerns, for example, the possible reintroduction of the free corona tests or compensation payments for hospitals that care for Covid patients.

Test requirement tightened beforehand

Stricter rules to contain the pandemic are possible in a first stage if the number of intensive care patients with a corona infection in Hesse is 200 or more. Then about ten percent of the intensive care beds are occupied. This critical mark was exceeded last Friday. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, it was only slightly lower on Monday with 196 patients.

One Compulsory daily testing for unvaccinated or recovered nursing staff The state government decided a week ago. It has been in effect since this Monday.

Promote more vaccinations

Since a compulsory vaccination cannot be introduced at the state level, “we have to ensure elsewhere that as few as possible are infected,” said Bouffier, explaining the reasons for the measures. It does not look like that the number of intensive care patients with Corona will decrease in the foreseeable future. They’ll probably rise sooner. The measures that have now been decided have been discussed with the representatives of the medical profession and the municipalities.

Like the head of government, Minister of Social Affairs Klose also campaigned for vaccinations. It is “high time” that those who are still unvaccinated “give themselves a jolt” and get vaccinated. It is thanks to the vaccinated that the situation does not look any worse at the moment.

Klose: Significantly fewer intensive care beds

“The clinics have been under constant load for 21 months. That is the permanent state of emergency,” said the Green politician. To make matters worse, due to a lack of staff, fewer intensive care patients can now be cared for than at the beginning of the corona pandemic. The number of beds fell by 20 percent.

According to Bouffier and Klose, things should go faster with boosters. The booster vaccinations are to be given more to vulnerable groups such as old and seriously ill people – for example through the increased use of mobile vaccination teams. All people in the state over the age of 70 receive a letter from the state recommending the booster vaccination.

At the same time, doctors fear a doubling of the number of intensive care patients with Covid-19 throughout Germany if the number of new infections continues to increase at the current level. The incidence of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days was 201 in all of Germany on Monday – higher than ever since the beginning of the pandemic in the spring of last year. In Hesse this incidence is even lower, currently at 149.

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PCR tests and rapid antigen tests

PCR-Tests are the so-called gold standard among the corona tests: reliable, but also more expensive. The samples are taken by medical staff by swabbing the nose or throat, and laboratories evaluate them. Their method proves the genetic makeup of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is done with the help of a replication of the virus material and the “real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction” (RT-PCR). However, the results are usually only available after 24 hours.
Rapid antigen tests They deserve the name because of the speed at which the result is available – usually after around 15 minutes. But the result is less reliable. The nasal or throat swab, which is also necessary here, is carried out by trained staff. Evaluation is carried out in the test center by applying a solution with the sample to a test strip. The aim is to detect proteins from the virus envelope, not the genetic material of the virus.

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Corona: Hessen tightened the 3G rule

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