German medical chief calls for end of Covid measures for vaccinated people

German medical chief calls for end of Covid measures for vaccinated people
A sign showing Covid rules, including mandatory masks, at Hamburg's fish market. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Bockwoldt
When should Germany lift all Covid restrictions? According to a high profile medical boss, Germany should be thinking about ending measures soon - particularly for vaccinated people.

“By September at the latest, a vaccination offer will be available for everyone who wants to be vaccinated, and then almost all Corona measures will actually have to go,” Andreas Gassen, head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), told German daily Bild in an interview published on Monday.

“Everyone can then still decide individually whether he or she wants to continue wearing a mask – but it should no longer be compulsory.”

Gassen believes this move is necessary, particularly to increase the willingness of vaccine-sceptic people to go and get their jabs.

“Otherwise, some people will ask themselves: why should I get vaccinated, do something for herd immunity, if I still have to wear a mask just because 20 to 30 percent of people refuse?” he said. 

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Gassen did not specify how he thinks these different sets of rules could be monitored and enforced. In May, Germany loosened some restrictions for fully vaccinated people. 

READ ALSO: Germany discusses fines for Covid jab no-shows as supply outweighs demand

So far, about 55.6 percent of the population in Germany has received at least one jab. And 37.9 percent have been fully vaccinated.

55.6 percent of German population has received one dose

There’s been a lot of debate around the world about how or if fully vaccinated people should still have to follow Covid-19 measures put in place by governments, such as quarantine orders, regular testing and masks. 

According to studies, coronavirus vaccines used in Germany – Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson – so far have been shown to provide a high protective effect against severe courses of Covid-19.

However, there are several cases known in which vaccinated people have been asymptomatic or mildly ill – and able to pass on the virus.

There is also concern that a fourth wave of infection could also build up in the autumn due to more contagious variants such as Delta, if Covid-19 restrictions are loosened too carelessly in the summer.

For the first time in weeks, Germany’s 7-day incidence of new coronavirus infections increased compared to the previous day on Sunday.

The Robert Koch Institute reported a slight increase to 5.0 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, up from 4.9 the day before.

On Monday the incidence remained at 5.0. Experts will be watching the incidence rate closely to see if it’s a blip – or a sign of a new trend of rising cases. 


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