With the rise of COVID-19 cases in Europe, several countries have decided to implement measures to reduce the spreading of the virus.
If that wasn’t enough, in November 2021, a new coronavirus variant, Omicron, emerged out of South Africa. Several cases have already been confirmed in Europe.
Only people who are vaccinated against COVID-19, or have recovered, will be allowed to go to restaurants, pubs, cinemas, gyms, cultural events, and non-essential shops, according to Reuters, AFP, and the BBC. Those who are unvaccinated are only permitted to meet two people from another household. The decision comes after a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel, her soon-to-be replacement Olaf Scholz, and regional leaders.
Germany has announced sweeping new restrictions for people who have not been vaccinated against Covid.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says unvaccinated people will be barred from many public places, including non-essential shops and events, unless they have recently recovered from Covid.
“Culture and leisure nationwide will be open only to those who have been vaccinated or recovered,” Merkel says.
“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” she adds.
Merkel also says a nationwide vaccination mandate could be imposed from February 2022, after it’s been debated in Parliament, said the BBC.
Today Merkel and her soon-to-be successor Olaf Scholz said the German Parliament would vote on whether to make vaccination mandatory.
There’s no date, but Merkel suggested that – if approved – such a measure could be in place by February of next year.
She also announced further restrictions on unvaccinated people who’ll be banned from many businesses and shops and prohibited from meeting more than two people from another household.
Angela Merkel has always resisted mandatory vaccination, saying it was the responsibility of government to persuade citizens.
But, asked today whether she now supported the measure, she replied: “If I were a member of parliament, I would vote for it”, according to the BBC