In the third wave of pandemics in spring, the federal government was allowed to impose exit and contact restrictions via the so-called corona emergency brake.

The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe announced on Tuesday that the measures had significantly interfered with various basic rights, but were "in the extreme danger of the pandemic" compatible with the Basic Law.

With this decision, according to the press release, the Federal Constitutional Court has recognized for the first time that children and young people have a right to school education vis-à-vis the state.

The school closings that have taken place in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic seriously interfered with this right, as the actual consequences of these measures set out in the expert statements clearly show.

Limited school closings

According to the press release, the following factors, among others, were important for the fact that the legislature could expect the pupils to omit classes in this situation despite the severe stress involved: There were no complete school closings at seven Day incidence of 100, but only at a far higher value of 165. The federal states were constitutionally obliged to replace the absence of face-to-face teaching with distance teaching whenever possible, even during the “Federal Emergency Brake”. And the school closings were limited to a short period of a good two months.

The statutory federal emergency brake, which was in effect from April 23 to the end of June 2021, provided for corona-related restrictions with an incidence of over 100 on three consecutive days.

Many citizens saw this as an inadmissible interference with their fundamental rights.

By the end of July, 8,572 people had turned to the Constitutional Court on constitutional complaints and urgent motions.

As early as the end of May, the constitutional judges rejected numerous applications to stop the federal emergency brake in an urgent decision.

Among other things, the FDP, which is to be involved in the future traffic light government, had sued.

The restrictions served to protect the health of the population and thus a “legitimate purpose”, the judges ruled at the time.