A new turn of the screw before a vaccine obligation which is now consensus: Germany decided Thursday to impose severe restrictions on the unvaccinated to try to stem the virulent fourth wave of infections.
"The situation is very, very difficult", underlined the future chancellor, Olaf Scholz, after a meeting with Angela Merkel and the Länder (regions) of the country.
The restrictions driven by the new coalition must thus show, hopes the future chancellor, that "there is no vacuum of power, as some are evoking at the moment". The Chancellor will leave office on December 8 after 16 years at the helm of Germany. She will give a farewell speech Thursday evening at a military ceremony. Olaf Scholz will not be elected chancellor until next week by the Bundestag.
If the figures have stabilized in recent days, they remain globally alarming, with tens of thousands of additional cases every day, an incidence close to 440 and many hospitals close to saturation. To deal with this, the authorities have decided to target unvaccinated people, who represent roughly a third of the population. In addition, wearing a mask is once again compulsory in schools across the country.
Without vaccine, no cultural and leisure activities
"We will organize cultural and leisure activities throughout Germany only for people vaccinated and cured" of Covid-19, detailed Angela Merkel. This so-called "2G" rule, vaccinated or cured, "will also be extended to retail, with the exception of everyday consumer stores," said the Chancellor. This drastic limitation of access to social life for unvaccinated people is qualified by several politicians as “containment” for those who have not received an injection.
No fireworks, nightclubs often closed.
Unvaccinated people are already subject to restrictions on access to public life, but the rules were variable and did not cover all regions. To avoid gatherings during the end-of-year celebrations, the government and the Länder have also banned firecrackers and fireworks, which are very popular with Germans. Clubs and nightclubs will have to close from an incidence of 350, an index currently exceeded in a majority of regions.
Two thirds of Germans favor compulsory vaccination.
These measures should allow an improvement in the coming weeks, before the vote and the entry into force of the vaccination obligation. This drastic measure, already chosen by the Austrian neighbor, could come into force in February, after an opinion from the Ethics Council and a vote in parliament. German public opinion has itself largely changed on the issue. If about two-thirds of those polled were against a vaccine obligation last summer, the proportion has completely reversed, with 64% of Germans now in favor, according to a poll for RTL and ntv.
Only the extreme right is opposed to compulsory vaccination.
The measure is also supported by the Greens and the Liberals, yet traditionally resistant to any constraint, as well as the conservatives of Angela Merkel, now in the opposition.
Only the far-right AfD party is opposed to it, with a poster campaign "The compulsory vaccine?
No thanks !
»Taking up a slogan of nuclear opponents.
"From the point of view of intensive and emergency medicine, the pandemic situation has never been so threatening and serious as it is today", warns the German Association for Intensive Medicine (DIVI) which claims partial confinement of the entire population.
Bottling for vaccines.
The German authorities are also facing criticism over the traffic jam observed to access vaccination, with difficulties in obtaining a medical appointment.
Pharmacies will be called upon to expand distribution.
No total closed door in the stadiums.
The Bundesliga will be imposed a limit on the number of spectators in the stadiums, avoiding, after final discussions, a return to total closed doors.