Germany considers tougher rules for the unvaccinated in autumn – but ‘drastic lockdown unlikely’

The German Health Ministry wants to continue Covid restrictions throughout autumn and winter, and may push for tighter rules for the unvaccinated - but politicians aren't predicting a strict lockdown.

Germany considers tougher rules for the unvaccinated in autumn - but 'drastic lockdown unlikely'
Visitors enjoy a concert at the Steinwerder Cruise Center on July 13th. The German Health Ministry is said to want events such as this to close to unvaccinated people if infection rates rise significantly. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Georg Wendt

The proposals were revealed in a report obtained by DPA, in which government health officials set out their vision for the coming months.

Looking ahead to a potentially difficult autumn and winter, ministers allegedly argued that continued measures were needed “in order to protect the health system from excessive strain and to shield the groups of people who cannot yet be vaccinated from a potentially serious illness”.

However, due to a relatively high number of vaccinated people in Germany, people are unlikely to face the kinds of restrictions they saw in 2020 and the early months of 2021, according to the Ministry’s report . 

“A drastic lockdown like the ones we saw in the second and third waves will in all probability not be necessary,” they wrote. 

“A fourth wave of Covid infections has begun, albeit still at a low level. In addition to the increased influx of infections by people returning from travel, people are behaving almost the same as they were in the times before the pandemic.”

On Wednesday 3,571 Covid cases were reported within the last 24 hours in Germany, and 25 deaths. The 7-day incidence rose slightly to 18.5 cases per 100,000 people.

READ ALSO: Covid infection rate in Germany goes up – but vaccines having an impact

‘3G rule’ to remain – but could be tightened

In particular, the Health Ministry is said to be calling for a continuation of the ‘3G’ rule (geimpft, genesen, getestet), which dictates that people should be either vaccinated (geimpft), recovered (genesen) or tested for Covid (getestet) in order enter certain premises or take part in certain events.

Indoor catering, hotel accommodation, services that require close physical contact (i.e. hairdressing and beauty treatments), sports events, and large indoor and outdoor events were named as examples in the report, according to German daily Welt.

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

Regardless of infection rates, the Health Ministry is believed to want the 3G rule to continue until at least early or mid-September. 

If infection rates go up significantly, however, the rules could be tightened further, meaning that only recovered or vaccinated people – rather than those with a negative test – would be allowed to visit the likes of hotels, restaurants, beauticians or large public events.  

Mask-wearing ‘should continue until at least 2022’

According to media reports, the Health Ministry is also pushing for a stringent continuation of mask-wearing and social distancing rules until the early months of 2022. 

The three basic rules – hygiene, distance and mask-wearing – should be followed at all times when groups of people are gathered in enclosed spaces, ministers reportedly said in the plans. This is especially important when the vaccination status of attendees is unknown or when vulnerable people are present, they said.

READ ALSO: German investigators slam Covid sceptics for bringing children to demos

The report from the Health Ministry was sent to state leaders and the federal parliament in advance of a crunch meeting later this month. 

On August 10th, Chancellor Angela Merkel with meet with the state premiers in each of the German states to thrash out measures to combat the fourth wave.

The latest figures show 53 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, and 62 percent have had at least one jab.  

Member comments

  1. but isnt it stupid when a vaccinated person can still spread the virus? whats the logic? i don’t get it honestly

    1. It is smart to get vaccinated and statistics are showing this. Depending on the vaccine and the variant, there is a high level of protection against serious disease and death, and reduced chance of passing on the virus. Better still, if we all get vaccinated, use masks and socially distance, there is an excellent chance life can return to something approaching normal relatively soon. Read The Local, which reports:

      According to the RKI, the majority of Covid cases recorded since February were among non-vaccinated people.
      The RKI estimates vaccine effectiveness at around 88 percent for people between 18 and 59 years of age and at around 87 per cent for the group over 60.
      “According to current knowledge, all vaccines currently available in Germany effectively protect against disease caused by the two main circulating VOCs (variants of concern), Delta and Alpha, when fully vaccinated,” said the RKI. Experts said data shows after receiving only one of two vaccine doses, the protective effect against Delta is “slightly reduced compared to Alpha”.
      Experts have urged people to get themselves fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
      The RKI said it is “strongly recommended to take advantage of the offers for vaccination against Covid-19 now”.

      This about covers it. Get vaccinated.

        1. Written, researched and targeted at your question only. Plenty of other good journalism here to back it up, of course.

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German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tested positive for the coronavirus and is displaying mild symptoms after returning from a tour of the Gulf, his spokesman said Monday.

German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

The 64-year-old Social Democrat is isolating in his apartment in the chancellery, and will attend meetings online, spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.

At the weekend, he visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a hunt for new energy sources after Russia cut gas supplies amid tensions over the Ukraine war.

He signed a deal Sunday for the UAE to supply natural gas and diesel to Germany.

READ ALSO: UAE to supply Germany with gas and diesel 

Meanwhile Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, also of the SPD, announced via Twitter on Monday that she had tested positive for Covid.