Unvaccinated Germans will no longer be allowed into “restaurants, pubs, cinemas, gyms, cultural events, and non-essential shops,” according to multiple reports. German parliament, meanwhile, is considering a vaccine mandate for all Germans beginning early next year, potentially joining Austria in making the experimental COVID jabs compulsory for the entire population.
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the sweeping new restrictions on Thursday, saying unvaccinated people will be barred from many public places unless they have recently recovered from COVID.
“Culture and leisure nationwide will be open only to those who have been vaccinated or recovered,” Merkel said.
“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” she added.
Merkel also said a nationwide vaccination mandate will be imposed from February 2022, if approved by parliament. Several other European countries are imposing draconian vaccine mandates, including Austria and Greece. The European Union also announced on Thursday that it is mulling a bloc-wide mandate, in a move some are calling the “Chinafication of Europe”.
Merkel noted in her remarks that vaccinated people will lose their vaccination status nine months after getting their last shot, implying that people will be forced to take booster shots too.
The restrictions come as coronavirus cases are surging in Germany. On Thursday, Germany reported 73,000 new COVID-19 cases and 388 deaths. The day before, health officials reported 67,186 new infections and 446 deaths — the highest number of daily deaths reported in nine months.
Currently, 68.7% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, short of the government’s goal of 75%.
Merkel described the new restrictions as an “act of national solidarity” that will “get the infection rate down and take the pressure off our health system.”
“The number of infections has stabilized, but on a far too high a level,” she said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a de facto nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated, following talks with state leaders and her soon-to-be successor Olaf Scholz. pic.twitter.com/BZF5xIh9IS
— DW News (@dwnews) December 2, 2021
Like Germany, Austria first introduced a lockdown for the unvaccinated before making the jabs mandatory for the entire population.
Germany uses the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as BioNTech-Pfizer, and Moderna injections, and has recommended that people mix the vaccines for better protection against the coronavirus strains.
Five Nordic countries have either banned, paused, or restricted use of the Moderna vaccine due to concerning reports of heart inflammation in people who have taken that jab.
Slovenia in September halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to concerns about potential blood clots.
On Tuesday, Health minister Janez Poklukar announced that the country in banning the J&J vaccine.
Many top athletes from both Europe and the US have reported serious side effects after getting vaccinated, with at least 69 athletes reportedly collapsing on the field—and in some cases dying—in just one month.