It was announced by officials in Germany on Thursday that there will be a tightening of restrictions for unvaccinated persons throughout the country.
German chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor, recently elected Olaf Scholz, met with all 16 federal state leaders to discuss how to curb the fourth wave and rising Covid cases in the country. Following the meeting with federal leaders, the two officials detailed the agreements in a press briefing on December 2.
Bans Include Non-Essential Services, Gatherings
From Thursday’s announcement, only those with proof of vaccination or those with valid proof of recovery from Covid will be able to access non-essential services such as restaurants, bars and outdoor sporting events. Unvaccinated individuals will be limited to essential services such as supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and bakeries.
There was also an agreement to bring legislation for mandatory vaccinations to parliament, which would be put forward to a vote in February of 2022.
Germany’s 2G System To Be Nationwide
There are already a number of restrictions at the state level for unvaccinated individuals, but Thursday’s announcement will make them nationwide.
Germany already has what they call a “2G” system in place as a way to streamline proof of entry to a number of services: one G is geimpft (fully vaccinated) and the other genesen (recovered in the last six months). Under the new guidelines, 2G will be enforced for non-essential services.
The new restrictions in Germany include:
- Only those with proof of full vaccination or full recovery will be able to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, clubs and anything deemed as a non-essential service.
- Unvaccinated individuals will only be able to meet with two people apart from those in their own household.
- In any instance where 350 Covid cases are reported for 100,000 people over 7 days, all nightclubs in the area will temporarily be shut down.
- The 2G system will apply for entry to all outdoor events. Popular events like Bundesliga football will be limited to 15,000 people.
According to reports on Germany’s official site, there have been talks of tightening restrictions for the unvaccinated in recent weeks. A number of the country’s Christmas markets have been canceled this year (but not all) and local restrictions have been enforced over the past months.
In her statement to the press today, Chancellor Merkel said the following: ¨”We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken. The fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved.”
“Given the situation, I think it is appropriate to adopt compulsory vaccination,” Merkel continued.
The country’s Covid cases have been rising in recent weeks. Germany’s current vaccination rate is at 68.6%, according to the latest data.
Thursday’s press briefing was Angela Merkel’s final one as German Chancellor, after 16 years of public service. Her successor is scheduled to take office next week.
Travel Restrictions To Germany
Travelers coming from the United States, Canada and the UK can still visit Germany at this time. The entry guidelines for Germany are outlined below. All travelers must show proof of one of the following 3 requirements:
- Proof of full vaccination from one of the WHO-approved vaccines
- Travelers must show proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result (from 72 or 48 hours prior to travel, respectively)
- Proof of recovery from Covid. Medical note must be 28 days up to 6 months before departure for Germany.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com