Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state prime ministers on Thursday agreed on a new package of measures to tackle the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic as infection rates skyrocket.
“Many of the measures we are announcing would not have been required if more people were vaccinated,” Merkel said at a news conference, according to a Reuters translation.
The package reportedly includes a restriction on community life for the unvaccinated in areas that exceed a certain hospitalization threshold. Merkel said the country is also considering introducing compulsory vaccinations for hospital staff, as well as resuming free testing for Covid.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures to a weekly cabinet meeting at her chancellery in Berlin.
JOHN McDOUGALL | AFP | Getty Images
Several states and cities have already introduced additional measures and required the public to show Covid passes that have human vaccination status or if they have just recovered from the virus (also commonly known as “2G rules” as they refer to whether or not people are vaccinated ( “Gamepft” in German – or “recovered”, “genesis”) to visit bars, restaurants, and other public places such as cinemas or museums.
According to the German news agency Deutsche Welle, if more than 3 people per 100,000 inhabitants of a region are hospitalized with an illness, then the 2G rule will apply to all public leisure activities in that state. According to Deutsche Welle, all states except Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Saar are above this figure.
Germany broke the record on Thursday report over 65,000 new caseswhile health officials warn that the actual number of cases could be two or three times higher.
Merkel called the situation “dramatic.”
“The fourth wave is hitting our country in full force,” Merkel said at an event for the Association of German Cities on Wednesday, according to the report. translation…
“The number of new infections every day is higher than ever before … and the daily death toll is also daunting,” she said, adding that it is not too late to get the Covid vaccine for those who have not yet.
– Holly Ellatt of CNBC contributed to this article.