The government of Germany has agreed this Thursday to impose new restrictions on unvaccinated people to stop a new wave of coronavirus that has caused a exponential growth of cases in the country.
“We have understood that the situation is very serious and we want to take more measures in addition to those already taken,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference.
The measures have been announced by the outgoing chancellor after her meeting with her foreseeable successor, Olaf Scholz, and regional leaders.
“The situation is very, very difficult,” stressed Scholz. The measures adopted include the closure of nightlife from certain levels of incidence of contagion, as well as restrictions on public events and contacts, especially between citizens not vaccinated, who will not be able to meet people outside their family nucleus.
“The fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved,” he said before adding that the mandatory vaccination could come into force from February 2022 after it is debated in the Bundestag.
Only the extreme right refuses to impose mandatory vaccination
“All these measures are minimum standards,” Merkel said, adding that the federal states are free to impose stricter restrictions.
It is, according to her, “an act of national solidarity” with the aim of reducing the number of infections and pressure on the health system.
Although infections have stabilized in recent days, the incidence is close to 440 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and many of the hospitals are beginning to be saturated.
“We will organize cultural and leisure activities throughout Germany only for people vaccinated and cured” of COVID, has detailed Merkel, who will leave power on December 8 after 16 years at the helm of Germany.
This rule called “2G”, vaccinated or cured, “It will also extend to retail trade, with the exception of everyday consumer stores”, Merkel has said.
Currently, unvaccinated people are already subject to social restrictions, but the rules were variable and did not extend to all regions of the country equally.
“We will organize cultural and leisure activities throughout Germany only for vaccinated and cured people“
What’s more, to avoid meetings during the Christmas holidays, the government and the Länder have also agreed ban firecrackers and fireworks at the end of the year, a very popular activity among Germans.
The restrictions promoted by the new coalition want to demonstrate according to the future chancellor, that “there is no power vacuum, as some are evoking at this time.”
Predictably, these measures should cause a improvement in the next few weeks, just before the vote and the foreseeable eentry into force of mandatory vaccination.
The opinion of the Germans regarding the obligatory nature of the vaccine has changed drastically since last summer, when around two thirds of the population surveyed by the ‘RTL’ chain was against it. At present, the 64% of Germans are in favor according to the poll.
The measure also has the support of the Greens and the Liberals, although traditionally they have always been resistant to any restriction, as well as the conservatives of Angela Merkel, who from December 16 will be in opposition. Only the far-right AfD party opposes it.