No vaccine, no entry: Germany gets tough on those who refuse to get vaccinated
Alarmed at rising infection rates and anxious to avoid another strict lockdown, the German government is instead imposing restrictions on the unvaccinated. According to a Bloomberg report, the outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed a raft of new measures with government officials and her successor, Olaf Scholz.
Unvaccinated people in Germany will face limits on which public events they can attend and the venues they can frequent as the government tries to ramp up its vaccination rate to get Covid-19 under control. Restrictions include barring the unvaccinated from restaurants, theatres, and non-essential shops and limiting numbers at sporting events.
There is talk also of making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory. Merkel says she will vote for the measure if she’s in the Bundestag, while Scholz says he expects the proposal to be approved.
“We’re in a very, very difficult situation. We have very many citizens who are vaccinated but not enough to prevent another wave of infections. Those who have not been vaccinated must do so, and that’s my very urgent personal appeal.”
According to the Bloomberg report, the government’s previous stance that it was a matter of personal choice may have inadvertently led to the low take-up rate. In Germany, fewer than 70% are vaccinated and a proposal to make vaccination mandatory is almost guaranteed to lead to further protests from so-called anti-vaxxers.
The rate of infection in Germany has started to drop over the last 3 days, but health officials remain on alert. The great unknown that is the Omicron variant will no doubt be adding to their concerns. One senior medical figure has predicted that by Christmas, the number of patients in intensive care units could be as high as 6,000.
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