Several German states have already started easing restrictions for those who are fully inoculated against coronavirus, as well as for people who have recovered from Covid-19.
But now the German government is planning to push through new regulations to allow for freedoms for these groups of people – that would apply uniformly across the country.
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, of the Social Democrats, told the broadcaster ARD on Sunday evening that he thinks it is realistic that the planned regulation will come into the cabinet on Wednesday, and that the Bundestag and Bundesrat will approve it at the end of the week.
“We have the ambition that we’ll get this approval and that would also be the right course for the rights of the citizens,” he told the programme Report from Berlin.
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On Monday, the coronavirus cabinet will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, of the Christian Democrats, and several ministers to discuss the plans.
Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) had previously submitted a draft that the federal government planned to vote on internally by “the beginning of the week”.
Under the plans, the fully vaccinated, and people who’ve recovered from Covid, would be able to “enter shops, visit zoos and botanical gardens or use the services of hairdressers and podiatrists without prior testing”.
They also wouldn’t have to stick to curfew rules. Mask and distance requirements would continue to apply to everyone.
Government under pressure from states
It comes after Health Minister Jens Spahn said last week the government aimed to bring in the uniform regulations by the end of May. Several states pushed back, bringing in vaccination rights immediately. This move has clearly put pressure on the government to act faster.
Saarland’s state premier Tobias Hans said he was pleased to see that “federal plans are now on the table” and wanted to see the nationwide law pushed through his week.
“The extensive restrictions on fundamental rights must not become permanent,” the CDU politician told the newspapers in the Funke media group on Monday.
In addition to Saarland, other states that have already given vaccinated people more freedoms include Berlin, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Germany reached a milestone last week when it vaccinated more than a million people in one day. The vaccination campaign has been turbo charged after more supplies of vaccines were delivered this month, and GPs got involved in the rollout.
This will continue in the coming weeks as more specialists – and in-house company doctors – are given the green light to inoculate people against coronavirus.
Some states have also dropped the priority order for receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, meaning all adults can apply for it. This has also given the campaign a boost.
Up to April 30th 26.9 percent of the population had received at least one vaccine dose. About 7.7 percent of the country is fully inoculated against Covid-19.
Vaccinated people – (die) Geimpfte/(die) Impflingen
Recovered from Covid-19 – von Covid-19 Genesene
Ambition (der) Ehrgeiz
Restrictions on basic rights – (die) Grundrechtseinschränkungen
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