Germany to Drop Incidence Levels as Key COVID Yardstick: Sources

By Reuters Staff

August 24, 2021

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has decided to stop using the coronavirus infection rate as its yardstick for deciding if restrictions should be in force to contain the spread of the virus, government sources told Reuters on Monday.

The government will instead monitor hospitalisations as a key indicator for the whether the health system is becoming overburdened, the sources said.

The seven-day incidence rate was a key measure in determining whether restrictions could be imposed or lifted, with infection thresholds of 35, 50 and 100 per 100,000 people triggering the opening or closure of different pars of society.

But as the number of people who are fully-vaccinated rises, calls have grown for the incidence rate to be dropped as a measure to determine whether lockdowns are necessary.

Germany reported 3,668 new coronavirus infections on Monday and a seven-day incidence rate of 56.4, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

Some 59% of the population are full-vaccinated with around 64% having received at least one dose.