11 Jan. 2022 22:44
The corona reins are being tightened not only in local public transport, but also in the House of Representatives. A “2G Plus” rule applies to upcoming plenary sessions. But as in real life, the parliamentary corona requirements are also complicated.
In any case, one thing is clear: Even for members of the Bundestag, stricter rules will apply in future if they want to take part in plenary sessions. But so that they can even take part, the members of the Bundestag (MdB) have to meet stricter corona requirements – not for the first time.
As is well known, the officially reported corona infection numbers are increasing. So the security measures in the German Bundestag are being tightened even further. In the future, access to the plenary hall should only be granted to those who have been vaccinated at least twice or have recovered and have been vaccinated once. These rules apply to MPs and employees, like the Spiegel citing the dpa reports. However, it should be corrected that employees do not have access to the plenary hall.
In addition, the parliamentarians have to present a current negative corona test. These new requirements are in a letter from the “Director of the German Bundestag” Lorenz Müller to all 736 members of the parliament, from which the press agency quotes.
(No) exceptions and continuous tightening
According to reports, only those representatives who have either been “boosted” or have recovered and are double-vaccinated are exempt from the obligation to submit a test result.
Those who have neither recovered nor vaccinated can only take part in the plenary deliberations from this week of the meeting from the stands – but only after submitting a negative test result.
Members of the Bundestag who cannot produce a negative test or who fail to be tested will no longer be allowed to enter the plenary session of the Bundestag.
In addition, FFP2 masks must be worn in all buildings of the Bundestag from now on. So-called medical or surgical masks are no longer sufficient because they are described as less safe.
It was not until December 2021 that the newly elected President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas ordered a mask requirement and the 3G rule for parliament by means of a general order, thereby tightening the corona rules of the Bundestag that were already in place.
Debate about compulsory vaccination – in the Bundestag
The new Corona requirements for parliamentarians could force some MPs who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to take this step. To what extent the freedom and equality of the mandate are affected by the recent tightening, should provide additional material for debates, not only in the Bundestag.
In addition, the tightening politically takes place at a sensitive point in time, when the Bundestag is now to enter into the debate on the general compulsory vaccination against Corona. So far there has been no common position in the coalition groups on the issue, which is probably one of the reasons why – not only because of the complicated ethical question – the parliamentary group’s obligation to make this decision should be lifted. It is quite possible that MPs from the Union and perhaps even left-wing parliamentary groups could give the governing parties the necessary majority should a bill on general vaccination be passed.
Parliament deposed itself
Again and again in the Corona crisis it was criticized that parliament passed and that government bills only “waved through”. Already in autumn 2020 it had Handelsblatt found that the Bundestag “let itself be disempowered in the corona crisis”. The tightening of the company’s own corona rules could become another episode of the story that critical lawyers have already described under the title “How parliament is taking itself out of the game again in the pandemic”.
more on the subject – Central Council of Jews advocates general compulsory COVID-19 vaccination