BERLIN — The German government and the leaders of the country’s 16 states on Thursday imposed a lockdown on people who are not vaccinated against coronavirus.
“Today we talked about an act of national solidarity,” said outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that restrictions — including some lighter ones on the vaccinated — are required due to Germany’s bad epidemiological situation. Referring to recently stabilizing infection rates, Merkel said the wave had slowed, but “at too high a level” to be complacent.
Merkel also said that the government would look into how long people can be considered “fully vaccinated” given immunity wanes over time, “as it is also discussed on the EU level.”
Speaking alongside Merkel, her prospective successor as chancellor, Olaf Scholz, doubled down on his belief that mandatory vaccination should be required because not enough citizens have been vaccinated. In Germany, the vaccination rate stands at 68.4 percent.
“Therefore we must now do this,” Scholz said.
As outlined in a draft document on Wednesday, private gatherings can now only involve a maximum of two unvaccinated individuals from one household while nonessential shops will be restricted to the vaccinated and those who have recovered from COVID-19.
Hans von der Burchard contributed reporting.
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