Stefan Majer, Green Party politician and health department of the city of Frankfurt, does not believe in going it alone.

An attitude that he took before the pandemic, but has repeatedly called for from his colleagues in the Rhine-Main area in recent months.

The fact that Hesse's Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) announced the introduction of uniform corona rules on Tuesday is a “big step in the right direction”.

Marie Lisa Kehler

Deputy head of the regional section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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Thorsten Winter

Business editor and internet coordinator in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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Because in the past few months it has been more and more difficult for citizens to understand why completely different rules sometimes applied in neighboring cities in the Rhine-Main area. The corona policy was often lacking in clarity. "The way the fourth wave presents itself, it is completely illusory to break it at the municipal level," says Majer. All tightened rules that are intended to help avoid overloading the health system would have to be decided at least at the state, if not even at the federal level, Majer demands. "We have to convey the urgency of the situation to people." That only works with clear guidelines. And about avoiding certain terms. Majer has therefore deleted the word “lockdown” from his active linguistic usage. “Certain terms are banned.We have to discuss the matter again. ”This includes strengthening the population's willingness to vaccinate and reducing the possibility of infection in order to avoid overloading the intensive care units. How this procedure is called is a minor matter.

Exceptions in a system that cannot tolerate exceptions

No matter what word is used, both vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens will have to accept restrictions in the coming weeks. According to Majer, it is important that these remain understandable for the population. It must be clearly communicated when the rules will be tightened further and when they can be expected to be relaxed. “Escalation concepts always require a de-escalation side. At the moment the dynamic part is still missing, ”warns the health department head. He is eagerly awaiting the decisions of the Prime Minister's Conference announced for Thursday afternoon. The tightening of the rules announced at the beginning of the week, including the introduction of 2G in retail, would have given initial indications of the direction in which things are going. "But the picture is not yet completely round."

Majer criticizes the decision that the health authorities should issue approval for events larger than 250 people. “It is inconsistent that from this size onwards a municipal decision should be made,” says Majer. Because it enables exceptions in a system that just cannot tolerate exceptions. In addition, this represents an additional overload of the already heavily required offices. Majer demands either to communicate clearly that events above a certain number of people cannot be approved, or to specify clear criteria as to how this can happen. "You have to come to a professional assessment once and either allow it - or not." The same applies to the question of whether Christmas markets can remain open.

In the meantime, the results of the samples that were sent to the Frankfurt University Hospital over the weekend are available.

At the Institute for Medical Virology, the director of the institute, Sandra Ciesek, sequenced the samples and examined them for the Omikron variant.

The suspicion was confirmed in all seven cases.

There are currently no further cases to be examined.

The World Health Organization had classified the Omikron variant on Friday as worrying.

It is considered more contagious than the delta variant that is predominant in Germany.

In addition, it could undermine the vaccination protection.