Is American State of Emergency a valid claim?

“This is not a conspiracy theory, but a conspiracy in full swing,” says a picture-text collage on Facebook. It is about the "state of emergency of the pandemic": The German Bundestag has "almost unanimously decided" to extend this until March 31, 2022, it is claimed. This is wrong. The German Bundestag has not passed such a law. A bill by the FDP parliamentary group was obviously misinterpreted here.

The picture was posted on Facebook on June 29th and has been shared nearly 1,700 times to date. "The lifting of the state of emergency was circumvented by changing the Infection Protection Act, Art. 2", is written next to it in the text. However, the link that is given as the source in the article only leads to a draft law by the FDP parliamentary group (printed matter 19/200042) in the German Bundestag, which is dated June 16, 2020.

FDP parliamentary group wants to repeal "epidemic situation of national scope" and maintain corona regulations for the time being

With the draft law, the FDP parliamentary group wants to repeal the determination of an "epidemic situation of national scope" by the Bundestag without the subsequent statutory ordinances and orders becoming invalid. In addition to the draft law, the parliamentary group had submitted a motion on the same day to lift the “epidemic situation of national importance” (Drucksache 19/200046).

The Bundestag determined the “epidemic situation” on March 25, 2020 and approved a draft law “to protect the population in an epidemic situation of national scope”. A number of legal ordinances and orders came into force to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The Infection Protection Act (IfSG) states that the Bundestag will repeal this situation "if the conditions for its determination no longer exist" (Section 5 (1) IfSG).

The printed matter was discussed in the Bundestag and referred to the health committee

The two proposals of the FDP parliamentary group, i.e. the application and the draft law, were discussed for the first time in the Bundestag session on June 18. In the minutes of the plenary session of June 18, the discussion between the political groups can be followed on pages 20,656 to 20,675. The Bundestag also published two reports on the debate on June 17 and June 18.

Accordingly, the SPD, CDU / CSU, Greens and Left spoke out against the proposal of the FDP. The MPs then referred the two printed matter "to the health committee for leading advice". This transfer can be found in the plenary minutes on page 20.675.

The drafts of the FDP were not decided by the Bundestag, but discussed there and referred to a committee for further discussion.

FDP parliamentary group wants to revoke the finding, but keep Corona regulations for the time being

The templates also do not provide for the "state of emergency" to be extended until the end of March 2022. The FDP parliamentary group applied for the determination of the “epidemic situation of national importance” to be repealed. With the second printed matter (19/200042), the FDP parliamentary group submitted a draft law for a “Covid 19 statutory ordinance extension law”. According to the ideas of the FDP parliamentary group, it is intended to prevent the statutory ordinances and orders that came into force with the establishment of the “epidemic situation of national importance” from also being repealed with it.

Some of these regulations are “still required”, for example “to support medical or nursing facilities”. The FDP therefore proposes a transitional arrangement "with which the statutory ordinances and orders issued on the basis of the determination of the epidemic situation of national scope remain in force until 30 September 2020".

According to the draft law, the FDP parliamentary group imagines this transition as follows: The passage in the Infection Protection Act, according to which the statutory ordinances and orders with the repeal of the epidemic situation of national scope are also to be repealed, is to be deleted “temporarily until September 30th” (PDF, Page 2). This would mean that the statutory ordinances and orders would remain in force until then, unless the Federal Minister of Health repealed them beforehand.

According to the draft, regulations on training in health professions could remain in force until the end of March 2022

The date March 31, 2022, which is mentioned in the Facebook post, can be found in the draft law of the FDP on page 4. There it says that in principle all legal ordinances that have been made due to the determination of the epidemic situation of national scope, “at the latest with Expiry of March 31, 2021 ”shall cease to apply.

An exception concerns ordinances "according to paragraph 2 number 10" in paragraph 5 of the IfSG. It deals with "regulations deviating from the professional laws of the health professions", in particular with regard to medical training and courses of study. According to the FDP's draft law, such ordinances would be "to be limited to the end of March 31, 2022 at the latest".

In response to our press inquiry, the FDP MP Konstantin Kuhle stated by email: "In order not to expect the trainees to change their training regulations at short notice, the draft of a Covid-19 statutory regulation extension law stipulates that such regulations are valid for one year after the revocation of the epidemic situation of national scope, to be limited to the end of March 31, 2022 at the latest. ”His parliamentary group does not expect a decision recommendation from the committee until after the summer recess of the Bundestag.

Conclusion: The Bundestag has not decided to extend the "state of emergency" until March 31, 2022. There is only one draft law from the FDP parliamentary group, which was discussed in the Bundestag on June 16. In addition, this does not contain an extension of all corona statutory ordinances and orders at federal level, but provides that individual ordinances relating to training in health professions can be limited in time to March 31, 2022 at the latest.

Update, July 6, 2020: We have supplemented the response from the FDP parliamentary group to our press request.