Germany | Corona measures

Lockdown for the unvaccinated

The Conference of Minister Presidents has expressed its support for the introduction of a 2G scheme in the retail sector.
IMAGO / Mike Schmidt
The Conference of Minister Presidents has expressed its support for the introduction of a 2G scheme in the retail sector.

In shops as well as at cultural and leisure events, access will in future only be granted to people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or who have recovered from an infection. The 2G rule, which is already in force in some Federal States, is to be extended nationwide following a decision by the federal government and the Federal States and will apply irrespective of the respective incidence. Most of the new regulations have to be implemented by the federal states by ordinance, others by amendments to the law. Therefore, it remained open at first when what will actually come into force.

To break the fourth Corona wave in Germany, the federal and state governments have agreed on much stricter guidelines and restrictions nationwide. These range from significant contact restrictions for the unvaccinated and unrecovered to 2G regulations for visiting restaurants, movie theaters, theaters and other recreational facilities. In addition, even a current test - i.e., 2G plus - may be mandated. Even stores - with the exception of those for daily needs such as groceries - now only allow those who have been vaccinated or recovered. This is true regardless of incidences. Stores must monitor compliance with the rule.

Private gatherings in public or private spaces attended by unvaccinated and unrecovered persons must be limited to one's own household and no more than two people from another household, according to the resolution. Children up to the age of 14 are exempt. Spouses, civil partners and partners in a non-marital partnership are considered to be one household, even if they do not reside together. The regulation does not apply to private gatherings attended exclusively by vaccinated and convalescent persons.

Restaurants will not be closed nationwide. Regionally, however, "temporary" closures are to be made possible again through an amendment to the Infection Control Act. This also applies to possible bans on alcohol sales or restrictions on overnight hotel stays.

Clubs and discotheques

Clubs and discotheques will be closed in case of high Corona infection rates due to the risk of infection. This applies from a seven-day incidence of 350 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, as Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said after a decision by the federal and state governments.

In order to contain the pandemic, the number of participants for supra-regional sporting, cultural and comparable large events will be significantly restricted. In the future, a maximum of 30 to 50 percent of the seating capacity may be used. Indoor events may have a maximum of 5,000 visitors and outdoor events a maximum of 15,000, as decided by the federal and state governments on Thursday.

The managing chancellor described the situation in the Corona pandemic in Germany as very serious. The fourth wave must be broken, Merkel said after consultations between the federal and state governments. She stressed the importance of booster vaccinations.

Vaccinations after nine months

The vaccination status will not be permanently recognized in case of a double vaccination, Merkel said. It is also being discussed at EU level that after nine months the second vaccination loses its validity, so boosting is very important. But the transition will be such that everyone has a chance to renew their vaccination status, she added.

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Merkel, referring to the current situation, said that the workload in hospitals is sometimes reaching its limits. Patients would have to be transferred. An"act of national solidarity" was needed, she said. "I am glad that in this difficult situation, the solidarity works, that party politics takes a back seat and the health of the citizens in the foreground of the common political endeavor - so it should be the next time further," said Olaf Scholz (SPD) after the Corona deliberations.

Scholz also reiterated that he has set a target of 30 million more Corona vaccinations by Christmas for Germany's vaccination campaign. "This is a huge logistical challenge." Those who have not yet done so, he said, should get around to vaccinating. Scholz also stated that there should be a facility-based vaccination requirement, for example for workers in elderly care and clinics. The SPD politician further said that the Bundestag should vote on a general vaccination obligation. "From my point of view, there should also be such a decision by the Bundestag," Scholz said.

Dentists are allowed to vaccinate

To contain the Corona pandemic, dentists, pharmacists and nursing staff should also be allowed to carry out vaccinations against the virus in future. The federal government will significantly expand the group of people authorized to do so, according to a resolution.