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Germany Announces Nationwide Lockdown For The Unvaccinated

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Germany Announces Nationwide Lockdown For The Unvaccinated

Germany has announced tough new restrictions for citizens who haven't received a Covid-19 vaccine, which has been described as a 'lockdown for the unvaccinated'.

People who haven't been jabbed won't be able to access non-essential shops, restaurants, places of culture or leisure, chancellor Angela Merkel announced today (Thursday 2 December).

The unvaccinated are also subject to strict contact restrictions, allowing a maximum of two households to meet.

The restrictions were already in place in numerous regions but will now be enforced across the country.

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Merkel has announced a lockdown for unvaccinated German citizens. Credit: Alamy
Merkel has announced a lockdown for unvaccinated German citizens. Credit: Alamy

Merkel also confirmed that a draft law on mandatory vaccination will be submitted to parliament with a view to being implemented in February or March.

Merkel made the announcement as more than 70,000 newly confirmed infections were reported in the country in a 24-hour period.

Speaking after a meeting with federal and state leaders, she said the measures were necessary in light of concerns that hospitals in Germany could become overloaded with people suffering Covid-19 infections, which were more likely to be serious in those who had not been vaccinated.

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"The situation in our country is serious," Merkel told reporters in Berlin, calling the measure an 'act of national solidarity'.

She said officials had also agreed to mandate masks in schools and an aim for 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year.

The measures come amid fears hospitals could be overwhelmed. Credit: Alamy
The measures come amid fears hospitals could be overwhelmed. Credit: Alamy

About 68.7 percent of the population in Germany is fully vaccinated, below the minimum of 75 percent the government is aiming for.

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Finance minister Olaf Scholz - who is expected to be elected chancellor by a centre-left coalition next week - said on Tuesday (30 November) that he backed a general vaccine mandate, but favoured letting politicians vote according to their personal conscience rather than along party lines on the matter.

The rise in Covid-19 cases over the past several weeks and the arrival of the new Omicron variant have prompted warnings from scientists and doctors that medical services in the country could become overstretched in the coming weeks unless drastic action is taken.

Some hospitals in the south and east of the country have already transferred patients to other parts of Germany because of a shortage of intensive care beds.

The move comes a couple of weeks after neighbouring Austria implemented similar measures, and other countries across Europe are now taking action to combat the Omicron strain.

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Greeks over the age of 60 who refuse coronavirus vaccinations could be hit with monthly fines of more than one-quarter of their pensions - a get-tough policy that the country's politicians say will cost votes but save lives.

In Israel, potential carriers of the new Omicron variant could be tracked by the country’s domestic security agency in seeming defiance of a previous Supreme Court ruling limiting such a measure.

While in the Netherlands, weekly protests over the country’s 5pm lockdown and other new restrictions have descended into violence, despite what appears to be overwhelming acceptance of the rules.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News

Jake Massey
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