(ORDO NEWS) — Germany is set to impose stricter restrictions on people not vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus as the number of cases in the country reached a record high.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states have agreed to impose restrictions on unvaccinated people in areas where the number of hospitalizations exceeds the established threshold.
According to the rules, the unvaccinated will be prohibited from visiting certain places.
Ms Merkel called the situation with Covid in the country “dramatic”.
“We need to quickly stop the exponential growth” in the number of cases and occupancy rates in intensive care units, she said.
The number of daily cases in Germany rose sharply on Thursday to more than 65,000, the highest since the pandemic began.
New rules agreed at the crisis meeting mean that in areas where the number of hospitalized patients with Covid has exceeded three people per 100,000 in the past seven days, only vaccinated people will be allowed access to public places such as sports events, cultural shows and restaurants. and recovered from the virus.
Currently, most of the states in the country are above this threshold.
Areas with more than six hospitalizations will have to introduce a 2G plus rule requiring people not only to get vaccinated, but also tested, and regions where this number exceeds nine will have to introduce additional measures, such as restrictions on contacts …
Ms Merkel and other leaders also agreed on Thursday that healthcare workers and nursing home workers should be vaccinated to control the spread of the virus.
Their announcement came after Germany’s lower house of parliament voted on a new set of measures to tackle the coronavirus, including restricting access to public transport and jobs only to people who have been vaccinated or tested.
The measures are yet to be agreed by the upper house of parliament on Friday, and some conservative politicians are threatening to block the bill.
The states of Saxony and Bavaria have already introduced the so-called 2G rules, which impose restrictions on unvaccinated people in response to a sharp increase in the number of cases.
Germany is not the first European country to impose restrictions on people not vaccinated against Covid.
On Thursday, both the Czech Republic and Slovakia announced tightening restrictions on unvaccinated people in an attempt to stimulate the use of vaccines.
According to rules approved by the Czech government, as of Monday, only those vaccinated or recovered from Covid in the past six months will be allowed to enter restaurants, attend certain events, and use various other services.
Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger called the new measures “a lockdown for the unvaccinated.”
In Austria earlier this week, about two million people who did not receive a full Covid-19 vaccine were placed in isolation. This means that they are only allowed to leave the house for limited reasons, such as work or shopping for groceries.
“We do not take this step lightly, but, unfortunately, it is necessary,” said Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg.
Austria’s two provinces – Upper Austria and Salzburg – will be completely closed from Monday, media reported.
Overall, Europe is once again the region most severely affected by the pandemic.
The World Health Organization warned on Thursday that the region faces a “harsh winter.”
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