Expanded rights for tested, vaccinated and recovered people

A leaked draft of a paper under discussion by German politicians outlines which freedoms certain groups may soon enjoy.

Workers at the vaccination centre in Tempelhof.
Workers at the vaccination centre in Tempelhof.Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AFP-POOL

Berlin- At the German vaccination summit that kicked off 3pm Monday, federal and state governments are discussing how to proceed with people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, have a negative test result or have recovered from the illness. The Berliner Zeitung has received a draft of proposed measures. According to the document, the aforementioned groups should regain their basic rights. Nothing has been finalised yet.

In a nutshell:
  • Vaccinated and recovered people are to be treated the same as people with negative test results. This applies, for example, to shopping, body-related services or visits to the hairdresser.
  • Quarantine is to be waived for vaccinated and recovered persons entering Germany - unless they're travelling from virus-variant areas.
  • Contact restrictions are to be eased for vaccinated or recovered people. This applies especially to contact in care homes.
  • Federal states can decide on further relaxation for vaccinated and recovered persons.
  • Social distancing and mask rules will still apply for vaccinated, recovered and tested persons.

Excerpts from the document:

1) "Vaccinated persons are those who, according to the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO), have been fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by the European Union. Depending on the vaccine, this means one or two vaccinations. According to the STIKO recommendations, one vaccination is sufficient for convalescents after six months, during which they can be treated like vaccinated persons. Complete vaccination protection can only be assumed when at least 14 days have passed since the last vaccination of the recommended vaccination schedule. A future extension to persons vaccinated with other (e.g. WHO-tested) vaccines in the light of changing scientific knowledge is not excluded," the paper states. People must be able to produce documentation of their status.

2. "Persons who have recovered are those who can prove they had a positive PCR test result at least 28 days ago. This is valid for up to six months after the determination of recovery, because sufficient immune protection can be assumed for this long. According to current knowledge, detection of Sars-CoV-2 antibodies is not sufficient to make a reliable statement about the immunity of the affected person. If a recovered person is vaccinated once, he or she is assigned to the vaccinated persons. The STIKO recommends a single vaccination only six months after recovery."

3. "Tested persons are those persons in whom a negative PCR test or a negative (antigen) rapid test approved for this purpose by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) was detected by trained personnel or a negative (antigen) self-test was monitored by trained personnel. Federal standards shall be observed. Proof shall be provided, insofar as the testing is not carried out by the institution or enterprise affected by the protective measure itself within the framework of occupational health and safety, by means of a test certificate which can only be issued by service providers in accordance with section 6(1) clause 1 of the Coronavirus Test Ordinance."

According to current findings by the Robert Koch Institute, it can be assumed that vaccinated and recovered persons have a lower risk of infecting other people than those who have tested negative by an antigen test, the paper says. "Consequently, wherever a negative antigen test is already considered sufficient for relief with regard to or exemption from protective measures, the relief or exemption should also be provided for vaccinated and recovered persons."

We'll keep you posted as the story develops. 

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