Almost two-thirds of Germans ‘unsatisfied’ with government’s Covid-19 management

One year after the first measures were put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus, almost two-thirds of Germans are dissatisfied with Germany’s crisis management.

Almost two-thirds of Germans 'unsatisfied' with government's Covid-19 management
The empty centre of a shopping street in the Thuringian district of Greiz, which current has Germany's highest Covid-19 7-day incidence of 573.9. Photo: DPA/Bodo Schackow

In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of DPA, 34 percent were “very dissatisfied” and another 31 percent “rather dissatisfied” with the government’s handling of the crisis. 

By contrast, only four percent are “very satisfied” and 26 percent “rather satisfied”. Another five percent did not give any response. 

Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), on the heels of a controversy over his ministry’s involvement in a face mask procurement deal, received even worse marks than the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) overall. 

READ ALSO: German health minister in spotlight over mask contract with husband’s firm

Only 24 percent of respondents are satisfied with his work, whereas another 69 percent are dissatisfied.

The German government had decided on the first restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March 2020. In a memorable televised speech at the time, Merkel called on the population to stand together to fight against the spread of the virus.

The acceptance of restrictions such as the closure of shops, restaurants and schools was still very high during the first coronavirus wave. 

In a YouGov poll in April 2020, 67 percent were somewhat or very satisfied with the government’s crisis management.

At the beginning of the second wave in October, the figure was only 57 percent, then only 50 at the beginning of February and only 48 percent in the last poll at the end of February. In the past three weeks, the acceptance of the government’s measures has once again deteriorated significantly. 

Now only 30 percent of respondents rate the government’s crisis management as rather or very positive.

READ ALSO: Is Merkel’s legacy in danger as Germany grapples with slow Covid-19 vaccine roll-out?

Dissatisfaction now predominates among voters of all parties represented in the Bundestag. It is particularly strong among supporters of the far-right Alternative for Germany (86 percent), the Left (76 percent) and the Free Democrats (73 percent).

They are followed by voters of the Social Democrats (63 percent), the Greens (62 percent) and Merkel’s Christian Democrats and Bavarian sister-party CSU (51 percent).

The data used was based on an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 2,059 people participated between March 16th and 18th. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 18 and over.


by contrast – dagegen

memorable/noteworthy – denkwürdig

worsen/deteriorate – verschlechtern 

to be based on something – auf (etwas) beruhen

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.

Member comments

  1. The government certainly only seems to have a hammer, as they only have one way to deal with the crisis. The delay of innovative solutions and functional expansion of contract tracing to this late in the game is already a losing proposition.

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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.”