Angela Merkel backed mandatory vaccinations after leaders agreed to impose a de facto lockdown on the unvaccinated.
According to the German chancellor, people who have not been vaccinated will be exempted from all shops and cultural and recreational venues.
After a meeting with state and federal leaders, she stated that the measures were necessary due to concerns about hospitals in Germany becoming overloaded with Covid-19-infected patients.
Merkel said that the situation in her country was grave and called the Berlin measure “an act of national solidarity”.
Merkel supported the controversial proposal to impose a general vaccine mandate. She stated that parliament would discuss the proposal with input from the national ethics committee.
It could be implemented as soon as February if it is passed, according to Mrs Merkel. She also stated that she would vote in favour of the measure if still a member.
She stated that officials also agreed to require the use of masks in schools and to impose new restrictions on private meetings. The goal is to reach 30 million vaccinations by year’s end. This effort will be enhanced by allowing pharmacists and dentists to administer the shots.
Only 68 percent of Germany’s population is fully vaccinated. This is far lower than the 75 percent minimum the government wants.
In Germany, there have been many protests against the introduction of pandemics in the past. The vaccine mandate will likely be opposed by a small minority. However, opinion polls indicate that most Germans support it.
Olaf Scholz (Finance Minister) is expected to be elected by a centre-Left coalition as chancellor next week. However, he favours letting legislators vote on the issue according to their conscience, rather than party lines.
The new measures, announced today, will prohibit the unvaccinated from eating in restaurants, bars, cinemas and gyms.
These restrictions do not apply to fully jabbed persons. They are in effect in many German regions.
The non-vaccinated will be prohibited from participating in Christmas markets in the regions that are still open. Many regions have already closed traditional markets.
Although the draft agreement is focused on the restrictions that apply to the unvaccinated there are other measures that will be applied to the fully jabbed. In hard-hit areas, nightclubs will be shut down and schools will be required to use facemasks again.
Two days ago, Scholz had agreed to mandatory vaccination for the German parliament.
He said that he would not whip MPs or allow them to vote for free, but he still supported the measure personally.
He stated that vaccination will only become compulsory after everyone has had the opportunity to be jabbed. This is not expected to happen until February or March next year.
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