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17 Feb, 2022 10:36

Shortening natural immunity status after Covid infection deemed ‘illegal’

A Berlin court has said that halving the duration of the Covid “recovered” status to three months was in breach of the law
Shortening natural immunity status after Covid infection deemed ‘illegal’

A decision by Germany’s federal disease-control agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), to reduce the period of time during which a person is considered “recovered” from Covid-19 to three months, was deemed unlawful by a Berlin court on Thursday.

Two unvaccinated people who’d tested positive for the Covid-19 in October had lodged an urgent application with the court against the RKI after the federal body reduced the “immunity status” period from six to three months. 

The court said that the RKI’s decision to shorten the period to three months exceeded its authority as an organization. The federal government must decide for itself how long the convalescent status is valid, according to the judges, referring to the regulations in the Infection Protection Act.

This authority cannot be transferred to the RKI, the court reiterated.

It didn’t have to rule on whether the decision was scientifically justified.

The ruling initially only applies to the two applicants who went before the administrative court. Judges cannot generally suspend the regulation, a court spokesman said.

The RKI shortened the ‘recovered’ status from six to three months on January 15. Many citizens lost the opportunity to go to restaurants or bars almost overnight, according to local media.

The move was made in response to the changing epidemiological situation and the emergence of the Omicron variant. Prior infection from other variants does not guarantee immunity against Omicron.