Germany to limit public life of unvaccinated – International

BERLIN – Unvaccinated will face a series of restrictions on public life in Germany, where hospitals become increasingly full of patients with covid-19, said on Thursday, 18, Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The move is needed to tackle a “very worrying” fourth wave of the pandemic that is burdening hospitals, she said.

“Many of the measures that are now needed would not have been necessary if more people were vaccinated. And it’s not too late to be vaccinated now,” Merkel said.

In places where hospitalization rates exceed a certain threshold, access to public, cultural and sporting events and restaurants will be restricted to those who have been vaccinated or who recovered.

Merkel said the federal government would also consider a request from regional governments for legislation that would allow them to require healthcare professionals and hospitals to be vaccinated.

Saxony, the region hardest hit by the fourth wave, is considering closing cinemas, concert halls and football matches, the Bild newspaper reported. The eastern state has the lowest vaccination rate in Germany.

Drastic measures

Daily new infections rose 14-fold in the past month in Saxony, a stronghold of the far-right party Alternative to Germany (AfD), which is home to many vaccination skeptics and anti-lockdown protesters.

This week, Austria imposed a blockade on the unvaccinated, and other European countries also imposed restrictions.

The latest wave of coronaviruses in Europe comes at a difficult time in Germany, with Merkel acting as interim leader as three parties — not including her conservatives — negotiate to form a new government after an inconclusive election in September.

These three parties brought a law authorizing measures to combat the pandemic to parliament on Thursday morning.

In a show of unity, the finance minister and chancellor on hold, Olaf Scholz, participated in Merkel’s press conference.

“To get through the winter, we’re going to see drastic measures that haven’t been taken before,” he said.. /REUTERS

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