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VACCINES

Fully vaccinated enjoy new freedoms in Germany

People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are  exempt from many restrictions in Germany from Sunday after the government passed new legislation to restore some freedoms.

Fully vaccinated enjoy new freedoms in Germany
Three edlerly ladies enjoy the sun in Weimar. Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild

Curfews and limits on social contacts no longer apply to those fully vaccinated — more than seven million people — or recovered from a Covid infection under the new rules.

They will also no longer have to present a negative test result to access certain services such as hairdressers and “click and meet” shopping appointments.

If returning to Germany from abroad, they will not be required to quarantine unless arriving from a country deemed high risk due to virus
variants.

However, they will still be required to adhere to social distancing and hygiene measures such as wearing masks in shops and on public transport.

Announcing the measures this week, Justice Minster Christine Lambrecht said there needed to be a “good reason” for any restrictions on public life.

“As soon as this reason ceases to exist… these restrictions should then no longer be in place,” she said.

In a poll for the RTL broadcaster, 64 percent of Germans said they were in favour of Germany going further and reopening hotels, restaurants, theatres and cinemas for vaccinated people.

Berlin’s mayor Michael Mueller admitted that it was going to be “damn difficult to check” whether people were exempt from the rules or not.

Mueller advised people to carry proof of vaccination with them until the arrival of the EU’s planned digital vaccination passports.

Under national measures introduced in April, areas of Germany with an incidence rate of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 people over the last seven days must introduce strict shutdown measures, including contact restrictions and overnight curfews.

But areas with incidence rates under 100 are allowed to open shops, restaurants, cinemas and other facilities to anyone who can provide a negative test.

With infection numbers sinking, many states are eyeing reopening various facilities in the coming weeks.

Bavaria is planning to open restaurants, theatres, cinemas and beer gardens from Monday in areas with incidence rates under 100, and will allow hotels, holiday homes and campsites to open from May 21.

Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday said Germany appeared to have broken the third wave but warned that reopening too quickly “would only help the virus”.

“In this phase of the pandemic, it is really a matter of not gambling away what has been achieved,” he said.

SEE ALSO: ‘Majority of Germans’ against immediately lifting restrictions for vaccinated people

Member comments

  1. Hi I am a frequent visitor to Germany over 40 years now, and fully integrated into society when there. My dilemma is that although I have had both my vaccinations, I still cannot book my trip to German as there are no clear guidelines that I can find for British travellers from the UK to Germany and back to UK again. Does anyone living in Germany know how travel is going to work other than expensive tests.
    Thanks for any certain information
    Andrea Edmonds

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VACCINES

Major milestone: more than 40 million Germans vaccinated against Covid

More than 40 million people in Germany have received at least one vaccination against the coronavirus so far, while a quarter of the population are fully inoculated, new government data shows.

Major milestone: more than 40 million Germans vaccinated against Covid
A vaccine is prepared in Munich. credit: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

Cracking the 40 million mark means that 48.1 percent of the total population has now received at least a first jab against the disease, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) that was released on Saturday.

Some 21.35 million people have received both jabs while 60.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in Germany so far.

This week, for the first time, the million mark in daily vaccinations was cracked on three days, Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wrote on Twitter. According to the RKI, about two-thirds of all vaccinations have been administered in vaccination centres, and one-third in doctors’ offices.

Among the states, Bremen continues to record the highest proportion of people with first-time vaccinations at 52.9 percent, with Saxony bringing up the rear at 43.0 percent.

Meanwhile Saarland has the highest proportion of residents with full coverage, at 30.4 percent, and has also administered the most vaccine doses per resident to date.

While the first five months of the vaccine programme were based on a priority list, since Monday everyone resident in the country can register themselves for a vaccine appointment.

Case rate continues to fall

Health authorities reported 1,911 new infections to the RKI on Saturday morning. A week ago that figure stood at 2,294 new infections. The seven-day incidence dropped lightly to 18.3 from 18.6 cases per 100,000 people on Friday.

Nationwide, 129 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours on Saturday.

Opposition plans inquiry into pandemic failures

Wolfgang Kubicki, deputy leader of the Free Democrats, has said his party will push for a Bundestag inquiry into the pandemic response after September’s national election.

“There needs to be a parliamentary review of this after the election,” Kubicki said on Saturday at a party convention. “That was the announcement of a committee of inquiry,” he confirmed when asked for clarification by a journalist.

Kubicki criticized, among other things, the purchase of “unfit masks” by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). He said that the committee would also look into controversial aspects of the pandemic response including the government’s testing strategy and the disputes over whether intensive care units reached breaking point.

SEE ALSO: 7 things the Covid-19 crisis has taught us about Germany

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