Berlin warns it could join its neighbours in closing schools, shops and bars – as Vienna hits out at “radical anti-vaxxers and fake news” after revealing plans for compulsory jabs.
Austria is to become the first country in Europe to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory by law and has announced a full national lockdown from Monday, amid a fourth wave sweeping the continent.
More Lies From The Chancellor says measures are needed due to ‘dramatic’ increase in COVID infections.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday announced a series of new anti-COVID measures, placing tighter restrictions on unvaccinated people to cope with what she called a “dramatic” worsening of the pandemic in the country.
The new measures, agreed in a crisis meeting with Germany’s 16 state premiers, include restrictions in areas that pass a threshold of three people hospitalized with COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants. In areas that breach this limit, access to public spaces such as sporting and cultural venues or restaurants will be limited to people who are vaccinated against COVID, or have previously had the coronavirus and have recovered. Twelve states are currently above that threshold.
In areas that pass a threshold of six hospitalizations per 100,000 inhabitants, people who are vaccinated or who have recovered will also be required to provide a negative COVID test in order to access public spaces.
Further restrictions are also planned for areas with more than nine hospitalizations per 100,000 inhabitants — currently, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.
Merkel also agreed with the state premiers that health care and care home employees must be vaccinated. The states asked the government “to implement the vaccination requirement as soon as possible,” DW reported.
Merkel is the caretaker German chancellor until a new government takes the reins — and this delicate transition period has coincided with sky-rocketing COVID infections.
Germany on Thursday reported more than 60,000 new infections in a single day for the first time since the pandemic started, while parties in parliament continue to bicker over coronavirus rules and their implementation