POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Pandemic

New covid law without major changes



“The situation is changing, but we must remain optimistic,” the health minister said. Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

“The situation is changing, but we must remain optimistic,” the health minister said. Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

The next covid law, which will set out the measures taken to deal with the pandemic, will not propose any new relaxations or restrictions. The government would like to maintain the status quo until mid-September.

In the absence of Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (DP), who had been discharged from hospital a few hours earlier, deputy prime minister and labour minister Dan KerschDan Kersch (LSAP) and health minister Paulette LenertPaulette Lenert (LSAP) explained the decisions made by the government council regarding the upcoming covid law. This law will come into force on 16 July at the latest, and should remain in force until 14 September. But, of course, Dan Kersch explains, if the situation deteriorates, “a new law will have to be passed, causing the Chamber to meet during the holidays.”

However, while the situation is deteriorating in several countries and the number of infections is rising sharply in Luxembourg, no measures are being taken in a hurry. Especially as “things remain calm in the hospitals and the situation has stabilised,” according to the health minister.

“There are therefore no revolutionary measures, either in the sense of a reduction or in the sense of a reinforcement of restrictions. We are more interested in the status quo with occasional adjustments,” Kersch confirms.

What are the main changes?

1. The government would like to see greater harmonisation in the context of gatherings. Gatherings of more than ten people will therefore be possible in a private setting. The same will apply elsewhere, but under the cover of CovidCheck. After midnight, it will no longer be possible to stay in a public place without this CovidCheck or a certified test. “From then on, after midnight, uncertified voluntary self-testing will no longer have any value,” the deputy prime minister insisted.

2. Mix-and-match vaccination, i.e. a first dose of one vaccine and a second of another, will now be possible.

3. An injection of a third dose will also be possible.

4. People in an irregular situation, of which there are “numerous in Luxembourg,” will be able to be vaccinated.

5. Family leave is extended until 14 September.

6. Companies wishing to hire apprentices will be entitled to new aid until October 2022.

7. Children’s leisure and school activities will be allowed to take place during the summer without masks and without distancing.

Leisure and nightlife locales are considered places where contamination is likely to occur. The national holiday seems to have demonstrated this. The measures decided by the Chamber “must be respected.” Therefore, police crackdowns will take place.

In addition, the fines for organisers who fail to comply with the law have been increased: €6,000 in future, compared to €4,000 currently.