According to reports in the Neue Osnabrück Zeitung (NOZ), Lower Saxony’s Health Minister Daniela Behrens believes employees who face quarantine should lose the right to reimbursed earnings during that time.
If the new rules are brought in, they would come into force in the state on March 1st, she said, and would only apply to people who had had contact with an infected person.
Under the current quarantine rules, people who had their last dose of vaccine or last Covid infection more than three months ago face quarantine of up to 10 days after having contact with someone with Covid.
The same applies to people who are completely unvaccinated, but people with a booster jab are exempt.
Speaking to NOZ, Behrens pointed out that the quarantine could be avoided if people opted to have the recommend third dose of Covid vaccine.
She said that the new rules would therefore be fairer to vaccinated people and the general public.
“In every village you can get a vaccination appointment relatively quickly,” she explained. “Against this background, I think we can no longer expect the taxpayers, the general public, to shoulder payments for contacts in quarantine, although these could have been avoided with booster vaccination.”
People who had a proven Covid infection will continue to be reimbursed regardless of their status.
In Bavaria, meanwhile, ministers are believed to be considering similar legislation.
According to reports in the Passauer Neue Presse, the rules in Bavaria would see quarantine pay scrapped for people who had not taken all the recommended Covid vaccine doses.
In line with the latest recommendations from the Standing Vaccines Commission (Stiko), this would mean that anyone over 12 without a booster jab would face a loss of earnings while in quarantine.
This would include people without booster jabs whose last dose of vaccine was taken more than three months ago. The move would be justified by the fact that quarantine could have been avoided in these cases, the lawyers wrote.
Last November, the government ended quarantine pay for all unvaccinated people.
Behrens is now encouraging other state health ministers to join her in discussing a potential sharpening of the rules at the next state health ministers’ conference, according to NOZ.
As of Friday, 73.8 percent of the German population was fully vaccinated and 52.2 percent had received a booster jab.