Germany Announces National Lockdown for the Unvaccinated

Germany’s leadership on Thursday announced it will lock down unvaccinated people as top officials also signaled they would back plans for mandatory vaccinations in the coming months.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that individuals who aren’t vaccinated for COVID-19 will be excluded from nonessential stores, cultural, and recreational venues. The Bundestag, Germany’s Parliament, will also consider a general vaccination mandate, she added.

“The situation is our country is serious,” Merkel told reporters, claiming the new measures are an “act of national solidarity.”

The German chancellor said masks will be required in schools, and there will be restrictions on private meetings. Vaccinated people, Merkel added, will lose their vaccination status nine months after receiving their last shot.

“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” Merkel, who is slated to leave office soon, told reporters. “The fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved,” she added.

Protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin
Members of the police stand guard as people protest against the government measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as the lower house of parliament Bundestag discusses additions for the Infection Protection Act, in Berlin, Germany, on April 21, 2021. (Christian Mang/Reuters)

Numerous studies have shown that fully vaccinated people still have the ability to transmit and contract COVID-19, although some health officials have said that vaccines can protect better against severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death. On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed that the second U.S. case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant was a fully vaccinated male.

Critics of vaccine passport systems, which have drawn weekly protests across Europe, have said they unjustly create a two-tiered society of vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Concerns have been raised about whether vaccine passports could be expanded to become a “social credit” system and if the mass collection of vaccination data could breach individual privacy rights.

In recent weeks, Austria and Greece also announced that vaccinations will be mandatory for everyone aged 60 and older. Those who refuse will face fines for each passing month, said the Greek government earlier this week.

Such rules, however, may be extended to other European Union countries, said European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

“Two or three years ago, I would never have thought to witness what we see right now, that we have this … pandemic, we have the vaccines, the life-saving vaccines, but they are not being used adequately everywhere,” von der Leyen said, adding that EU authorities have to “potentially think about mandatory vaccination.”

In her address, Merkel said that the mandatory vaccination measure would take effect in February 2022 and said she would vote in favor of the rule if she were still in Parliament.

According to Germany’s health agency, about 68.7 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.

Last week, the United States issued a travel advisory for Germany due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers Germany as “Level Four: Very High,” and it called on Americans to avoid traveling there.

From The Epoch Times