‘More than half’ of Germans lose trust in government’s handling of pandemic

For the first time in the coronavirus pandemic, more than half of Germans hold a negative view of the government’s management of the crisis, according to a new survey.

'More than half' of Germans lose trust in government's handling of pandemic
A face mask lying on the ground in Duisberg on Wednesday evening. Photo: DPA

Just over half of those surveyed (54 percent) in an ongoing study felt that German politicians are overwhelmed by their duties, and hence not carrying them out as effectively.

This marks the highest percentage in the pandemic.  

In the summer, the figure stood at 40 percent, whereas it was 46 percent during the first partial lockdown in April 2020. 

The survey “The Fears of the Germans” has been regularly commissioned by Wiesbaden-based R+V Insurance for almost 30 years and is considered to give an overview of how people feel about politics, the economy, family and health. 

Most recently, on January 25th and 26th, around 1,000 adults between the ages of 16 and 75 were surveyed by opinion researchers.

For Manfred Schmidt, political scientist at the University of Heidelberg, the survey results show declining confidence in politics. 

Schmidt sees Germany’s continually extended shutdown, in effect since November 2nd, and the ongoing vaccine debate as likely causes. 

READ ALSO: 'Miracles are not going to happen': Row breaks out over Germany's slow Covid-19 vaccine rollout

It was a fundamental mistake, he said, to shift vaccine procurement to the EU level when national strategies focusing just on Germany would have worked better. 

Schmidt said that what was missing at the political level was the clear admission of mistakes from which lessons could be learned.

READ ALSO: Can Germany get on board with a 'no Covid' strategy?


sensitivities – (die) Befindlichkeiten 

weakening – nachlassend

procurement/acquisition – (die) Beschaffung 

admit/acknowledge – eingestehen 

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.


Is the pandemic over in Germany?

As much of Germany lifts - or prepares to lift - the last remaining Covid-19 measures, intensive care units say Covid-19 admissions are no longer straining the system.

Is the pandemic over in Germany?

Despite a difficult winter of respiratory illnesses, intensive care units in Germany say Covid-19 admissions have almost halved. The number of cases having to be treated in the ICU has gone down to 800 from 1,500 at the beginning of this month.

“Corona is no longer a problem in intensive care units,” Gernot Marx, Vice President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, told the German Editorial Network. “A the moment, we don’t have to think every day about how to still ensure the care of patients, but how to actually run a service that can help.”

Marx said the drop has allowed them to catch up on many postponed surgeries.

The number of sick employees in hospitals is also falling, helping to relieve the pressure on personnel.

The easing pressure on hospitals correlates with the assessment of prominent virologist and head of the Virology department at Berlin’s Charite – Christian Drosten – who said in December that the pandemic was close to ending, with the winter wave being an endemic one.

German federal and state governments are now in the midst of lifting the last of the country’s pandemic-related restrictions. Free Covid-19 antigen tests for most people, with exceptions for medical personnel, recently ended.

READ ALSO: Free Covid-19 tests end in Germany

Six federal states – Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein – have ended mandatory isolation periods for people who test positive for Covid-19.

Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein have ended the requirement to wear FFP2 masks on public transport, while Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia, and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will follow suit on February 2nd.

At that time, the federal government will also drop its requirement for masks to be worn on long-distance trains. Labour Minister Hubertus Heil says that’s when he also intends to exempt workplaces – apart from medical locations – from a mask requirement.

READ ALSO: Germany to drop mask mandate in trains and buses from February 2nd

Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg will also end the requirement for patients to wear a mask in doctor’s offices. That’s a requirement that, so far, will stay in place everywhere else. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has also said that he thinks this requirement should remain. 

But some public health insurers and general practitioners are calling for a nationwide end to the obligation for wearing masks in doctor’s offices.

“The pandemic situation is over,” National Association of Statutory Health Physicians (KBV) Chair Andreas Gassen told the RND network. “High-risk patients aren’t treated in all practices. It should generally be left up to medical colleagues to decide whether they want to require masks in their practices.”