Stricter covid rules in Germany

Due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus, significantly stricter rules will apply in Germany after Christmas.

Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz
dpa

Berlin (dpa)- Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus, comprehensive restrictions on private and public life will be introduced in Germany. However, the stricter rules are to apply only after Christmas. From 28 December at the latest, there is to be a general limit of ten people for private meetings. Chancellor Olaf Scholz also agreed with the state premiers of the federal states on the closure of clubs and discos as well as empty stands at football matches and other major events. However, there will be no comprehensive lockdown with the closure of restaurants and shops for the time being.

"Corona is not taking a Christmas break," said Scholz. The aim of the new measures is to massively cut back on interpersonal contacts - especially with New Year's Eve in mind. "It is currently no longer the time for parties and social evenings in large groups," said Scholz.

In addition to the new restrictions, the vaccination campaign will be pushed further - also during the Christmas holidays and over New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The target is 30 million more booster vaccinations by the end of January. At least 32.6 percent of the total population have already received a booster. At least 70.4 percent have been vaccinated twice so far or have received the single vaccination from Johnson & Johnson.

Scholz is aiming for a vaccination rate of 80 per cent as an "interim goal". "And once we have achieved that, we need to look at the next target," he said. He also again advocated a general mandatory vaccination, which the federal parliament is to vote on in the new year.

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