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Angela Merkel / Federal Chancellor
In its cabinet meeting today, the federal government passed the draft of a fourth law for the protection of the population in an epidemic situation of national scope. This is a supplement to the Infection Protection Act, and I am convinced that this supplement is an equally important and urgent decision on how to proceed in the corona pandemic. This addition means, in a nutshell: We are implementing the emergency brake nationwide. Where the incidence is above 100, uniform nationwide regulations should apply in the future. The emergency brake is then no longer a matter of interpretation, but it automatically tackles the ambiguities of what applies when in one or the other district or what does not apply. That’s over then. Where the number of infections is stable below the incidence of 100, it is still the countries that decide in their regulations on restrictions as well as on easing. The nationally applicable emergency brake is overdue. Because even if it is difficult to hear it again today. The situation is serious and we must all take it seriously. The third wave of the pandemic has our country firmly under control. This is what the daily infection figures from the Robert Koch Institute say. That says the development of the R-value. And that is what the numbers of occupied intensive care beds say in particular. Right from the start I always said: If we waited until all intensive care beds were occupied, it would be too late. We can not permit that. And we must not ignore the calls for help from intensive care medicine. We must not leave the doctors and nurses, who have been giving everything in the hospitals for over a year to fight the first, the second and now also the third wave, alone with this Herculean task. We can't let them down. We have to help them. Because without our support, that of the state, politics and all citizens, you cannot win the fight against the virus even with the best medical art and self-sacrificing commitment. You need us. And so that this gets better, so that we slow down the third wave, so that we break it, so that we can reverse it, the previous federal-state consultations alone are no longer sufficient, but our pandemic control must become more stringent, more consistent. We need to slow the third wave of the pandemic and stop the rapid rise in infections. In addition, the citizens understand regional differences very well, but they expect traceability and clarity. Therefore, I am convinced that it is literally necessary to put our cooperation on a new footing. And that is exactly what is happening with the legislative process launched today. I am very aware that the new Infection Protection Act provides for severe restrictions, especially for circles above the incidence 100: contact, restrictions, closings of shops, cultural and sports facilities, night curfews. All these measures, incidentally also a mandatory test offer decided today by employers for employees, serve a single goal, the goal of getting our whole country out of this phase of the steadily increasing infection, the filling intensive care units and the alarmingly high daily rates To bring out the number of corona deaths. We have already managed to reduce the number of infections to a controllable level again through consistent action. And we can and will succeed again. Of course, one thing helps us enormously. While we are once again adjusting to these deprivations and restrictions on freedom, the vaccination campaign is going on and it is going better every day. Hundreds of thousands are provided with the best protection against the disease every day. And since the family doctors have been included and the company doctors will also join us, we are walking towards the light at the end of the tunnel with ever larger steps. And that is why I would like to thank the citizens today for their patience, their insight and their care for others. And for our whole country to get through the crisis well even after such a long time. We will now make today's resolution available to the CDU, CSU and SPD parliamentary groups as a so-called formulation aid. I would also like to thank my colleagues in the opposition for their critically constructive cooperation and look forward to good and speedy deliberations in the German Bundestag. So that this important law can help us defeat the pandemic very soon. Thank you very much!"