GERMANY is set to ban people who have not had their Covid jabs from shops, pubs and restaurants in what has been dubbed as a “lockdown for the unvaccinated”.
People in Germany who have shunned the Covid jab face being barred from going out to shops, pubs and restaurantsCredit: Reuters
The situation is so bad in Germany, patients are having to be flown to hospitals in other parts of the countryCredit: Avalon.red
Covid cases have been surging to record numbers in Germany
The unvaccinated counts as people who have not had two jabs or had their last jab more than nine months ago.
Under the emergency plans — the harshest yet to be imposed in Europe — there will be a blanket ban on entering bars, restaurants, theatres and cinemas for anyone who has not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus.
Those falling foul of the planned rules would also be barred from Christmas markets and non-essential shops and only be able to socialise with a limited number of people.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the measures were necessary in light of concerns that hospitals could become overloaded with people suffering Covid-19 infections, which are more likely to be serious in those who haven’t been vaccinated.
She told reporters: “We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken.
“To do this, the fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved.”
Yesterday, Germany’s chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz said he would like to see mandatory Covid vaccinations rolled out, beginning in “February or March”.
About 68 per cent of the German population is fully vaccinated — below the minimum of 75 per cent the government is aiming for.
The unimmunised will also be banned from Christmas markets, as well as being hit by contact restrictions limiting the number of people they can socialise with.
The agreement also includes new restrictions on large gatherings, which would affect events such as Bundesliga football matches, and the closure of nightclubs in areas with a weekly incidence rate above 350 infections per 100,000 people.
Fireworks will be banned on New Year’s Eve to stop large crowds from gathering, according to North Rhine-Westphalia state premier Hendrik Wuest.
It comes after the discovery of a new, highly mutated, Omicron variant, first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by South Africa on November 24, which has spread worldwide rapidly.
It is feared Omicron could cause over half of Europe’s Covid cases in the “next few months”.
? Read our Omicron variant live blog for the latest news
More than two dozen countries and territories have now detected cases, extending to India on today and the United States yesterday, among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic since it first emerged nearly two years ago.
The WHO has cautioned that it could take weeks to discover if Omicron is more transmissible, and whether it causes more severe disease — as well as how effective current treatments and vaccines are against it.
But its detection and spread represent a fresh challenge to global efforts to battle the pandemic with several nations already re-imposing restrictions many had hoped were a thing of the past.
People who have not been vaccinated are set to be banned from Germany’s iconic Christmas marketsCredit: Reuters
Compared to other European countries, Germany has had a low uptake in the Covid vaccinationCredit: Avalon.red
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