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Germany: New Corona Rules to be Put in Place, Scholz Wants Progress in Vaccination Campaign

After his latest Corona conference with the First Ministers, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would see more infections and more patients at hospitals because of Omicron. Booster vaccinations were the best protection, he told the press. Scholz also announced new rules.

Berlin, January 7th, 2022. Update: January 8th, 05:30 a.m. CET (The Berlin Spectator) — This year’s first Corona conference took place on Friday. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the heads of government in Germany’s sixteen federal states decided to implement new rules soon. At restaurants and pubs, the regulations are supposed to be tightened. There will be more changes in regard to quarantines for persons without COVID-19 symptoms.

The Rules

This is the new approach at restaurants:

  • Individuals who got booster vaccinations may still enter restaurants, cafés and pubs without complications, starting immediately after they got the booster shot. Vaccinated persons without booster shots will need Corona tests with negative results on top of their immunization certificates. Just like today, unvaccinated persons will not be allowed to enter restaurants or similar places at all.

These are the quarantine rules Scholz and the governors want to implement:

  • Persons with booster vaccinations who were in contact with infected people will not need to go into quarantine anymore. The same is supposed to apply to persons who were just vaccinated, up to 3 months ago, or who recently recovered from COVID-19 (again, up to three months prior to the visit).
  • Everyone else has to go into quarantine after such contacts or when they are infected themselves. It will last for 10 days. At this stage, the duration is 14 days. After seven days in quarantine, those affected can get out if they get a test the outcome of which is negative. Nurses need to be free of symptoms for 48 hours to shorten the duration of their quarantine.

It is unclear when exactly these rules will apply. For the federal states, North Rhine-Westphalia’s First Minister Hendrik Wüst, who also heads the Conference of First Ministers, and Berlin’s Governing mayor Franziska Giffey stated they would do everything possible to implement them soon.

The Speed

Olaf Scholz told the press in Berlin Germany needed to expect rising infection numbers and more Corona patients at hospitals because of the Omicron mutation. In order to slow down the Omicron wave as much as possible, the vaccination campaign and the booster shots campaign needed to be sped up again, to the pace they had reached before Christmas. Back then, up to 1.5 million vaccinations were administered per day. At this stage, there are about half as many.

Scholz reiterated his government’s goal to get another 30 million immunizations administered by the end of January. He said there was no all-clear. Booster shots remained the best protection against Omicron. Both the Biontech and the Moderna vaccines were “good”, the Chancellor stated. “I am asking everyone to get vaccinated”, he said. Those who had not been vaccinated at all needed to get their shots now in order to be protected.

The Prospects

According to Scholz, Germany is in a “better” situation than its neighboring countries because of the contact restrictions that were implemented in December and the fact that the country had begun offering booster shots early. Up to ten vaccinated persons may gather in Germany. As soon as at least one unvaccinated person is involved, members of one household may be with up to two members of up to one more household. Children below 14 years of age do not have to be counted.

The new Chancellor said he and the First Ministers had discussed the situation and the way to go during the Christmas holidays as well. The new quarantine rules were supposed to enable the country to deal with a situation in which far more people were infected with corona, he explained. If the contact restrictions were followed consistently, and with booster shots, the prospects in regard to the protection against Omicron were good.

The Justification

Both Olaf Scholz and Hendrik Wüst repeated their call for mandatory Corona vaccinations. Wüst stated they were part of an anticipatory Corona policy. The Bundestag is supposed to discuss a required law amendment soon. Governor Wüst announced there would be a time table soon. He also stressed the need for a protection of Germany’s critical infrastructure. Franziska Giffey said proportionality was an important aspect as well. Because of the Omicron wave the new restrictions were justified.

Looking for the daily Corona update for Germany? Find it here.
ALL CORONA CHRONOLOGIES:
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2022 (from Dec. 22nd, 2021)
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2021
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2020

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