The German government’s controversial law to directly impose corona measures, such as a curfew and further contact restrictions, has been given the green light by the German parliament.
After the approval of the Bundestag on Wednesday, the Bundesrat, the upper house, also agreed, German media report. The law will come into effect as soon as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed it.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government can then impose lockdowns and other measures themselves outside the federal states. Merkel considers federal say in the fight against the coronavirus necessary because the federal states regularly take less strict action than she believes essential.
The government in Berlin can pull the “national emergency brake” and intervene in areas with relatively high levels of contamination, without the involvement of the sixteen states. There is a lot of criticism, especially among the opposition. The largest opposition party, Alternative für Deutschland, sees the law as an attack on constitutional freedom.
On Wednesday, thousands of people marched in Berlin when the Bundestag was voted on. Officers used tear gas and pepper spray and arrested dozens of people who did not follow corona rules.