Germany to limit public life of the unvaccinated – .

Germany to limit public life of the unvaccinated – .

BERLIN, Nov. 18 (Reuters) – Germany will limit much of public life in areas where hospitals are dangerously filling up with COVID-19 patients to those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease, according to a document.

National and regional leaders meeting on Thursday agreed to the measure as part of their response to the fourth wave of the pandemic raging in Germany, overloading hospitals in some areas.

In places where hospitalization rates exceed a certain threshold, access to public, cultural and sporting events and restaurants will be restricted to those vaccinated or cured, according to the document seen by Reuters.

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Saxony, the region hardest hit by the fourth wave, is already considering a partial lockdown, including the closure of theaters, concerts and football matches, the Bild newspaper reported. The eastern state has the lowest vaccination rate and the highest infection rate in Germany.

New daily infections have grown 14-fold over the past month in Saxony, a stronghold of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is home to many vaccine skeptics and anti-lockdown protesters.

“This coalition is ready to now impose a hard and clear wave-breaker,” Saxony leader Michael Kretschmer told the national parliament, according to Bild.

The announcement comes the same week Austria imposed a lockdown on those unvaccinated. Kretschmer said he didn’t think targeting only the unvaccinated was enough.

The latest wave of coronavirus in Europe comes at a delicate time in Germany, with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel acting as guardian while three other parties negotiate to form a new government after inconclusive elections.

All three parties passed a law allowing measures to tackle the pandemic through the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) earlier on Thursday.

The law will tighten some measures currently in place, requiring people to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test on public transport and at work, in addition to wearing face masks.

Separately, the German Vaccine Advisory Committee has recommended booster shots for anyone over the age of 18.

Vaccinations have resumed in Germany, which has a history of vaccine resistance, although largely due to the use of booster vaccines, as more gatherings indoors due to colder weather increase the risk spread of the virus.

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Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Sarah Marsh, Emma Thomasson and Alexander Ratz in Berlin Editing by Mark Heinrich and Giles Elgood

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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