EPIDEMIC: Germans who are not immune to Covid-19 will no longer be able to access certain public places
Faced with the surge in Covid-19 infections , Germany is toughening its tone and especially towards unvaccinated people. After a crisis meeting on Thursday, Angela Merkel announced the generalization of specific restrictions for these citizens, such as their exclusion from certain public places. “We need to quickly stop the exponential rise” in new infections and intensive care bed occupancy, she said as the number of new infections jumped 65,371 in 24 hours.
The so-called “2G” rule, which only allows the vaccinated (“geimpfte”) and the cured (“genesene”) to access public places such as restaurants or concert halls will be applied as soon as the hospitalization threshold exceeds three patients with Coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants, said the outgoing chancellor. The rule will therefore apply in most parts of the country. Only 67.8% of the population is fully vaccinated in Germany, according to the latest figures from the RKI.
Compulsory vaccination for hospital staff
While it had so far refused to consider compulsory vaccination for certain professional categories, Angela Merkel’s government will make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for staff “in hospitals, care or retirement homes ”. However, the timetable for applying this measure is still unclear. “We must protect the most vulnerable groups,” the heads of the regions said in a joint statement, in order to justify this decision.
Recently, at least 11 elderly people have died, and several have been infected at a health center in Brandenburg, where only half of the caregivers were vaccinated. Access to care centers or retirement homes for visitors and nursing staff will only be granted on presentation of a test of less than 24 hours, including for vaccinated or cured people.
Schools remain open
On the other hand, when the hospitalisation threshold exceeds the value of six, the vaccinated and cured must, in addition to their certificate, have a negative test to access a list of establishments. Closures of shops, restaurants or bars in the regions are not excluded as a last resort.
On the other hand, the schools will remain open, but the pupils subjected to regular tests. Officials have also decided on a massive return to teleworking wherever possible and an obligation for a health pass in transport and in the workplace. Vaccination is set to become compulsory for professional footballers, German officials said.