Germany’s Bayern Munich penalises unvaccinated players as five in quarantine

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have docked the wages of unvaccinated players like star midfielder Joshua Kimmich who, along with four unimmunised teammates, is in quarantine over contact with Covid-infected individuals, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Bayern Munich's midfielder Joshua Kimmich reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg in Munich
Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich, pictured, is just one of the German club's unvaccinated players in quarantine without pay at the moment. Christof STACHE / AFP

Hours after reports emerged that the club was docking the pay of unvaccinated players put in quarantine, Bayern said Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance also had to be isolated over contact with an individual who tested positive.

The news is an unwelcome distraction, two days before Tuesday’s Champions League tie at Dynamo Kiev with Bayern already through to the last 16.

All besides Cuisance had only just completed a first round of house isolation on Tuesday as they had contact with Bayern team-mate Niklas Suele, who tested positive last week.

The latest quarantine order risks inflaming an already heated debate over whether sports personalities should be required to take the jab as Germany ails under a vicious fourth wave.

Kimmich, 26, had drawn sharp criticism since revealing he opted not to be vaccinated due to “personal concerns”.

Bayern bosses reportedly summoned him and his four unvaccinated teammates on Thursday to inform them of the pay cut when they are in isolation because they have not taken the jab, Bild said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources from the team.

READ MORE: 2G and 2G plus: Germany to tighten restrictions on the unvaccinated

Bayern have declined to comment.

Under new rules taking effect from November 1st, employees who miss work because of a quarantine are no longer entitled to receive compensation if they are unvaccinated.

For Kimmich, whose annual pay reaches 20 million euros ($23 million), a week’s quarantine means earning losses of about 384,000 euros.

His absence has left his club struggling. On Friday, the Bundesliga leaders crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at Augsburg.

‘A sign’
Former Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told broadcaster Sky that if the wage cuts are confirmed, they “should be understood as a sign that the club is now reacting. Because it must react.”

Germany’s failure to shake off the pandemic has deep financial consequences for Bayern, he said.

Latest curbs imposed to tame the infections surge mean the club can only host one in four spectators at its stadium.

“That’s of course also a big loss for FC Bayern,” said Rummenigge.

Germany is battling a renewed surge of the virus with infection numbers hitting new records this week.

A relatively low vaccination rate — hovering under 70 percent — has left the country vulnerable.

READ ALSO: How Germany’s booster jab campaign compares to other countries

German leaders this week decided new curbs to spur those holding out against the jab to change their minds.

Those not immunised will have to provide negative tests to use public transport or go to the office.

They will also be shut out of restaurants, sporting events and cultural shows in regions where the hospitalisation rate stands at above three patients per 100,000 over the past seven days.

The national average reached 5.5 on Sunday.

In the worst-hit zones, regional leaders have imposed partial shutdowns.

The state of Saxony has ordered all sporting and cultural venues shut, banned tourism and public consumption of alcohol.

Christmas markets, which were due to open on Monday, have been cancelled across Saxony and Bavaria.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany finalises new Covid restrictions for winter

Member comments

  1. “His absence has left his club struggling”…please leave sports analysis to the experts. all blame nagelsmann lineup, subs and set plays as the reason they lost, not kimmich. you can blame him for not getting vaccinated but not for the loss.

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Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now