Germany has announced a plan to effectively lock out unvaccinated people from public life.
On Thursday, Germany announced a proposal to lock down unvaccinated people in the country as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise amid the change in seasons.
According to the proposal, unvaccinated people will be banned from accessing most businesses, except for the most essential venues, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor, Olaf Scholz, announced.
The decision to lock down the unvaccinated comes following talks with regional governors.
The outgoing chancellor and her replacement also backed proposals for mandatory vaccinations should the issue arise to a vote in parliament. Should such a measure be voted on and passed, it will take effect from Feb. 2022 at the earliest, CNN reported.
The intensified measures on unvaccinated persons will see additional restrictions to movement and gatherings for everyone. For instance, unvaccinated people can only get together with two people from different households. Areas with a high incidence rate will also be forced to shut down bars and nightclubs for everyone.
Germany will also limit the number of people at large public events.
The New York Times reported:
In addition to the restrictions on shopping by the unvaccinated, states may also require under the new rules that negative test results be presented in addition to proof of immunity at events, restaurants, bars or even shops.
In a throwback to earlier lockdowns, those who can’t prove they have recovered from the illness or that they have been vaccinated will be restricted to meetings or gatherings, whether at home or in a public space, of only two households.
However, the restrictions stop short of requiring the unvaccinated to stay at home, in contrast with the stricter Austrian restrictions.
“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” Merkel said Thursday. “The fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved.”
The New York Times reports that Scholz promised this week that he will push a law to make vaccinations mandatory. The move is similar to, but not quite as strict as, Austria’s, which mandated vaccines for its entire population, Rebel News reported. Austria forces its unvaccinated population stay home.
The move to crack down on unvaccinated individuals comes as the government faces criticism in the media for not being stringent enough in its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 69 per cent of the German population is fully vaccinated, meeting the average in the European Union. It is beaten by Portugal, Spain, Denmark, and Ireland.