Germany is toughening its tone in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel announced after a crisis meeting in the Bundestag that the country would generalize specific restrictions for unvaccinated people, such as their exclusion from certain public places, in order to combat the surge in infections.
"We must protect the most vulnerable groups", declared in a joint statement the government and the heads of the regions, adding "that it is necessary that the staff" of hospitals, care or retirement homes "be obliged to be vaccinated against the coronavirus ”.
The government of Angela Merkel had so far refused to consider compulsory vaccination for certain professional categories.
"A really worrying situation"
The so-called "2G" rule, which only allows the vaccinated ("geimpfte") and the cured ("genesene") to access public places such as restaurants or concert halls will be applied as soon as the hospitalization threshold exceeds three patients with Covid per 100,000 inhabitants, she said, which is the case in most regions of the country.
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The Chancellor stressed the importance of acting as quickly as possible to stem the rise in infections.
Although the situation varies from region to region, "we are in a situation of real concern" and "a rapid slowdown in the exponential growth" of the epidemic in the territory is necessary, said Angela Merkel.
Restrictions already applied in several regions
Across the Rhine, the incidence rate has reached record highs, with nearly 303 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on average over a week on Monday, according to German health authorities.
As of Thursday, the number of new infections reached a record high of 50,196, down from just 15,513 a week earlier.
About 66% of the population of all ages and 77% of the adult population is fully vaccinated in Germany, against - respectively - 75% and 86% in France. The “reservoir” of unvaccinated people is therefore greater there. A gap of nine points may seem slight, but the Delta variant, very contagious, manages to interfere very easily in the population.
Faced with this upsurge in the epidemic, many Landers have applied specific measures to unvaccinated people in recent days.
In Baden-Württemberg, only vaccinated and cured people have access to museums, restaurants and events since Wednesday, while in Hamburg, unvaccinated people will no longer be able to go to bars and nightclubs in particular. from Saturday.
In Thuringia stricter access rules apply to a large part of public life and in North Rhine-Westphalia to adults in the field of leisure.