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VACCINES

Bavaria plans vaccines ‘in supermarkets, schools and pharmacies’ in summer

Bavaria premier Markus Söder says he wants to create new contact points for vaccinations to take place in the coming months to speed up the process of getting everyone inoculated.

Bavaria plans vaccines 'in supermarkets, schools and pharmacies' in summer
Bavarian premier Markus Söder. Photo: DPA
 
Söder, who is aiming for the state to lift the Covid vaccine priority order soon, plans to allow more facilities to carry out jabs, rather than only relying on only GPs and vaccination centres.
 
“In general, we need medical teams who can vaccinate in mobile vaccination stations in supermarkets,” Söder said, according to German daily Welt on Wednesday.
 
“Vaccinations should also be given in pharmacies. No vaccine should be left lying around and things have to happen quickly on site – without long waiting times.”
 
The CSU leader is aiming to lift the priority order in Bavaria in the “middle or end of May” – earlier than is planned by the federal government, which says it will allow all adults to apply for a vaccine in June.
 
 
 
He said Germany needed to get ready for the moment when all adults will be offered the jab.
 
All appointments agreed for people in priority groups will be retained, he said. “But we have to set up every conceivable structure for the time when we get more vaccines.”
 
Jabs in supermarkets, restaurants or drive-ins are not unheard of. Countries that have already achieved a high level of vaccination coverage for the population, such as the USA or Israel, have opted for different ways of getting injections to people. They are often delivered in the form of drive-ins with mobile teams.
 
 
Young people to be offered jab in June
 
Söder said he wants Bavaria to vaccinate young people early on in the campaign when the priority list is lifted. “It is also particularly important to involve schoolchildren in order to give young people a perspective for more freedom,” he said.
 
“Therefore, we want to offer the graduating classes a vaccination offer in June.”
 
Young people over the age of 16 can currently be vaccinated with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine. A vaccine for younger children is not yet available, although studies are ongoing.
 
School vaccinations, as well as company-wide and family jabs, have to be a fixed component if you want to get out of the pandemic quickly, he said.
 
Socialising in private, schools and workplaces are said to be drivers of Covid outbreaks.
 
Up to April 27th, 25.5 percent of the Bavarian population – or 3.3 million people – had received at least one dose, while seven percent were fully inoculated.
 
About 24.7 percent of the total German population had received at least one vaccine dose up to April 27th. About 7.4 percent – or 6.1 million people – are fully vaccinated.

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BAVARIA

Bar closures and no Christmas markets: How Bavaria is tightening Covid rules

Bavaria will order the closure of all bars and clubs as part of sweeping new restrictions to try and control the Covid spread and ease overrun hospitals. Here's a look at what's planned.

Closed Christmas market stalls in Munich.
Closed Christmas market stalls in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

On Friday Bavarian state leader Markus Söder announced more tough restrictions to deal with spiralling Covid infections and packed intensive care units.

“The corona drama continues,” said Söder after the cabinet meeting, adding that 90 percent of Covid patients in state hospitals are unvaccinated. “Being unvaccinated is a real risk.”

Bavaria has a vaccination rate of 65.9 percent – lower than the nationwide rate of almost 68 percent.

READ ALSO: Bavaria cancels all Christmas markets in Covid surge

Söder said the state’s Covid package was about “blocking, braking and boosting”, adding that vaccination centres will be ramped up. 

“We must act,” he said. “Bavaria is exhausting almost all legal means until December 15th.”

Earlier this week, Bavaria introduced a state-wide 2G rule, meaning only vaccinated people (geimpft) and people who’ve recovered from Covid (genesen) can enter many public spaces. People who are eligible to get vaccinated but choose not to get it are excluded. 

Here’s an overview of the planned restrictions set to come in on Wednesday, as reported by local broadcaster BR24. 

Bars, clubs and restaurant curfew

From Wednesday, and for three weeks, all nightlife like clubs, discos, bars, pubs and brothels in Bavaria are set to close their doors. Restaurants will have to shut at 10pm. So planned Christmas nights out will likely need to be cancelled or postponed. 

Christmas markets

There will be no Christmas or Christkindl markets in Bavaria this year. In the past days, several cities had announced that they would not be holding these events this year due to the Covid situation. 

Contact restrictions on the unvaccinated

Söder announced new restrictions on the number of people those who are not inoculated can socialise with. A maximum of five unvaccinated people will be allowed to meet, from two different households. Children under 12 will not be included in the total, as well as vaccinated or people who’ve recovered from Covid.

Cultural and sporting events

All cultural and sporting events can only take place with significantly reduced spectators. At theatres, opera performances, sporting events, in leisure centres and at trade fairs, there will be a 25-percent capacity limit. The 2G plus rule also applies. This means that only vaccinated and recovered people are allowed to enter (not the unvaccinated) – and only with a negative rapid test. Masks are compulsory everywhere.

Universities, driving schools, close-body services: 2G plus

All universities, driving schools, adult education centres and music schools will only be open to those who have been vaccinated and have recovered – making it 2G. This rule also applies to body-related services, like hairdressers and beauty salons. Only medical, therapeutic and nursing services are exempt from the 2G rule. So unvaccinated people can still go to the doctor or receive a medical procedure. 

KEY POINTS: Germany finalises new Covid restrictions for winter

Shops

Shops remain exempt from 2G rules, meaning unvaccinated people can visit them. However, there is to be limits on capacity. This means that fewer customers are allowed into a shop at the same time.

Special rules for hotspots

Currently, the incidence in eight Bavarian districts is above 1,000 infections per 100,000 people in seven days. Here and in all other regions where the incidence goes above this number, public life is to be shut down as far as possible.

This means that restaurants, hotels and all sports and cultural venues will have to close. Hairdressers and other body-related service providers will also not be allowed to open for three weeks, and events will also have to be cancelled. Universities will only be allowed to offer digital teaching. Shops will remain open, but there must be 20 square metres of space per customer. This means that only half as many customers as in other regions are allowed in a shop.

If the incidence falls below 1,000 for at least five days, the rules are lifted.

Schools and daycare

Throughout Bavaria, schools and daycare centres are to remain open. However, there will be regular Covid testing. Children and young people have to continue to wear a face mask during lessons, including school sports, unless they are exercising outside. 

Bavaria is expected to approve the measures on Tuesday and they will be in force until at least December 15th. We’ll keep you updated if there are any changes. 

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