Germany locks down for unvaccinated people

 Saturday, December 4, 2021 

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Germany announced a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated, as its leaders backed plans for mandatory vaccinations in the coming months.

Unvaccinated people will be banned from accessing all but the most essential businesses, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, to curb the spread of coronavirus, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor, Olaf Scholz, announced Thursday, following crisis talks with regional leaders. Those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 are not covered by the ban.

The pair also backed proposals for mandatory vaccinations, which if voted through the parliament could take effect from February at the earliest.

Under the tightened restrictions, unvaccinated people can only meet two people from another household. Bars and nightclubs must shut down in areas with an incidence rate above 350 cases per 100,000 people over one week. And the country would limit the number of people at large events like soccer matches.

Acting Chancellor Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz hold a press conference on tightened Covid-19 restrictions Thursday.

The announcement comes as Germany battles a surge in cases that has pushed Europe back to the epicenter of the pandemic, heightening fears over the newly discovered Omicron variant. The press briefing is also Merkel’s last before she leaves office; a grim note to end her 16 years as German chancellor.

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