Germany to ban non-vaccinated people from non-essential shops and reception areas – .

Germany to ban non-vaccinated people from non-essential shops and reception areas – .

Germany is to ban unvaccinated people from non-essential stores, reception areas and large parts of public life as the country struggles to stop a wave of Covid-19 case.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country’s parliament would also consider doing coronavirus vaccines mandatory, a decision that could take effect in February 2022 if approved.

Germany has registered more than 70,000 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Credit: PA

Speaking after a meeting with federal and state leaders, Merkel said the measures were necessary amid fears that German hospitals could be overloaded with people with Covid-19 infections, who are more likely to be serious in those who have not been vaccinated. .

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

Authorities also agreed to require masks in schools, place new limits on private meetings and target 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year.

About 68.7% of the German population is fully vaccinated, well below the minimum of 75% target by the government.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who is slated to be elected chancellor by a center-left coalition next week, said earlier this week that he supported mandatory Covid vaccines but preferred to let lawmakers vote their way. personal conscience rather than along party lines in the matter.

The increase in Covid cases in recent weeks and the arrival of the new Omicron variant have prompted scientists and doctors to warn that the country’s medical services could become overwhelmed in the coming weeks, unless action is taken. drastic measures are taken.

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

Agreeing on what action to take has been complicated by Germany’s political structure – with the 16 states responsible for most regulations – and the ongoing transition to the federal level.

The German disease control agency reported 73,209 new confirmed cases on Thursday.

The Robert Koch Institute also reported 388 new deaths from Covid, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 102,178.

In Austria, the government in November ordered all unvaccinated people in the country to lock up amid rising Covid infections and deaths.Anyone over 12 who had not received the vaccine was told they should stay home except for basic activities like working, shopping, going for walks – or getting the vaccine.

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