We welcome the keeping open of schools, day-care centres and trade. However, in the case of the closure of catering and accommodation establishments, we have the impression that, despite compliance with distance and hygiene measures, actionism has consequently taken precedence over objective justification. Moreover, the restrictions on constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom frighten me as an employer president, entrepreneur and citizen. In my opinion, the restriction of social contacts in the private residential area, as well as in the economic area, has been regulated with too little sense of proportion and has been taken too far. The restriction of family cohesion with parents, siblings and children, because they are not limited to two households, prevents the last safety net in times of need. Policymakers must be careful not to lose popular acceptance for the measures taken to address the corona crisis. It is not social contact per se that is the problem, but social contact without distance maintenance. Those who demand a sense of responsibility from citizens must stay out of the private sphere, unless the individual case gives cause to do so.
Politicians and society should now use the time of the lockdown to prepare the upcoming decisions for the coming months. Restricting entrepreneurial freedom while at the same time providing state support is not a sustainable model for the social market economy. An open society cannot be steered by prohibitions alone.
I therefore urge the federal government to use a broad dialogue - in which we employers are happy to participate - to determine our country's future course in the corona crisis in a comprehensible manner. This will lead to a further development of strategy and changed measures.
The core must be a consideration of the fundamental rights of various options for combating corona. We should also look at the experiences of other democratic states that have so far come through the crisis successfully without a lockdown, such as South Korea or Taiwan. We need effective data protection, for example, but it must serve to protect people's health rather than the virus. Can we agree, for example, on a temporary data protection restriction for an effective app? Shouldn't we ask citizens whether they would prefer to preserve their everyday freedoms and lead their normal lives with information technology innovations in the pandemic? Shouldn't we use the diversity of recommendations in science to carry out differentiated measures that are also legally sound?
German employers, together with their employees, have achieved a great deal in recent months to make work in companies safe in corona times. We also expect this willingness to change and innovate from politicians.