- To prevent the fourth wave of Covid-19, Germany’s national and regional leaders have agreed to bar unvaccinated people from much of public life.
- The far-reaching measures were described as “national solidarity” by outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Only those who have been vaccinated and recently recovered from Covid will be permitted to enter restaurants, cinemas, recreational facilities, and many stores.
Vaccinations could be made mandatory by February, according to the chancellor. Germany’s fourth Covid wave is the deadliest yet, with 388 people died in the last 24 hours. According to EU health officials, there is also growing concerned about the spread of the Omicron variant, which is likely to account for more than half of all Covid cases in the coming months.
Mrs. Merkel stated that hospitals were overcrowded to the point where patients had to be transferred to different areas for treatment. “The fourth wave must be broken, which has yet to happen.” “Given the situation, I believe it is appropriate to implement mandatory vaccination,” she said, emphasizing that this would want to be approved by parliament.
Her successor, Olaf Scholz, who is set to take over as chancellor next Wednesday, has already stated his support for the move, which would take effect a few weeks later than a similar Austrian law. According to Berlin Mayor Michael Müller, the vast majority of Covid cases result from unvaccinated people.
The new measures are not described as a “lockdown” on the unvaccinated, even though outgoing Health Minister Jens Spahn previously spoke of a “quasi-lockdown.”
According to the measures agreed upon by Germany’s 16 state and federal leaders:
- Restaurants, cultural venues, and non-essential shops will be subject to the 2G rule.
- Clubs will close in areas where 350 cases per 100,000 people have been recorded in the last seven days – the national rate is over 400.
- Up to 30 million vaccinations first, second, or boosters will be carried by Christmas.
- Outdoor events, including Bundesliga football, will have a crowd limit of 15,000 people and follow 2G rules.
- New Year’s Eve fireworks will be banned.
Source: BBC News