What follows the ban on contact? Germany is preparing itself for an exit

The virus will be no less dangerous if the exit restrictions are relaxed. But politics bought us time. Which set screws does it turn?


The more effectively the bans on contact and exit restrictions in Germany prevent the spread of the new Corona, the lower the degree of “infection” of the population. This will save many lives but has one disadvantage: Whenever restrictions are relaxed, there is another risk of an exponential increase in diseases.

Nevertheless, calls for an “exit” are becoming louder. To many epidemiologists, this seems irresponsible. Most advocates of rigid measures are also aware that the German economy and society can hardly remain “closed” for months. Rather, the hope is that the extensive standstill in public life will buy time for important preparations so that Germany is better equipped to deal with new corona infections if it gradually returns to everyday life.

The hammer and the dance

These preparations can be roughly divided into two groups: The health care system should be able to cure significantly more people with Covid 19 than before. At the same time, it will be important to contain infection foci faster in the future using measures that are as tailored as possible. Infection chains would have to be broken more quickly in the future. The more decisive regional intervention can be to isolate infected people (and possibly their contact persons), the less one would have to restrict the life of the entire population.


The considerations of experts from the Robert Koch Institute and other institutions, those of the Federal Government, also go in this direction according to a report by the “The Eastern Herald Newspaper” on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, recommendations were made under the title “How we can get Covid-19 under control”. In it, the experts apparently take up the title of a popular scientific contribution: In “The Hammer and the Dance”, the American computer scientist and entrepreneur Tomas Pueyo described last week how the “Hammer” phase (the decommissioning of public life) was a kind of “dance “With such and other measures must follow: one step forward, one step back – sharpen restrictions, then loosen again. It will be a long dance: The advisers to the Interior Ministry hope that the proposed measures “will immediately contain the small outbreaks that are likely to flare up again and again over a period of several years”.

What is essential for the success of such a strategy is the experience that has now been gained with the virus and the data that is now being collected about the pandemic. To a certain extent, early indicators must set the pace for the “dance” – always with a view to the capacities of the health system that have been reached at the time. We give an overview of what Germany is already doing to risk a return to more normality – and what else could be done.