Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that parliament will vote on a law to make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory from next February in Germany. On the day her fourth consecutive term formally ends, Merkel held meetings with the governors of the countries Germans and with his successor, Olaf Scholz: in addition to the discussion on the vaccination obligation, the Chancellor also announced new restrictions for unvaccinated people, who will no longer be able to access most of the non-essential services.
In a press conference held in the afternoon with Scholz, Merkel said that the places of culture and entertainment in Germany “will be open only to those who are vaccinated or cured”. Underlining again that the epidemiological situation in the country is “very serious”, the chancellor specified that people who have chosen not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus while being able to do so will not be able to access bars and restaurants, cinemas, museums and non-essential activities, but only to grocery stores and pharmacies, unless they have recently recovered after contracting the coronavirus.
Merkel said she was in favor of the vaccination obligation, as did Scholz in recent days, who should be officially appointed chancellor next week. The bill should therefore have a large majority in parliament. Scholz then recommended that all Germans who have not yet done so to get vaccinated and show up for an additional dose of vaccine, saying “this is the way out of the crisis.”
In recent weeks, infections have progressively increased in Germany and hospitals have begun to be under great strain. More than 73,000 new coronavirus infections and 388 deaths from causes related to COVID-19 were detected in the country on Thursday. To make a comparison, last November 22 the infections had been just over 30 thousand and 62 dead.
Currently around 69 per cent of the German population (out of 83 million inhabitants) has completed the vaccination cycle: a level still far from the 75 per cent that was set as a target by the German government, and considered by the country’s health authorities to be too much. low in order to keep the severe effects of the pandemic under control. In Italy, the percentage of people completely vaccinated is 77.1 percent.
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