Advertisement

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tightens COVID-19 restrictions

1/4
German Chancellor Angela Merkel tightens COVID-19 restrictions
A gentleman receives his third COVID-19 vaccination in Duisburg, Germany, on November 12. Due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, new nationwide restrictions have been announced. Photo by Friedemann Vogel/EPA-EFE

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Thursday new measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and said parliament will debate a vaccine mandate.

"The fourth wave must be broken," she said, according to DPA.

Advertisement

Merkel consulted with federal and state government officials before announcing the measures, which include restricting attendance at major events to 30% to 50% of seating capacity. Football stadiums will be allowed to hold 15,000 spectators, while other sports halls can hold 5,000.

In households with unvaccinated people, gatherings will be limited to that household alone plus two outsiders.

Only those who are vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus infection can enter shops and leisure events.

The country's infection rate has stabilized at a high level after hitting national records in recent weeks, and the new measures are aimed at easing pressure on intensive care units, Merkel said.

Workloads in hospitals are reaching their limits and patients are being transferred to other parts of the country to receive critical care.

Officials confirmed a draft law on mandatory vaccination will be submitted to parliament in February or March. Merkel's successor, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, has expressed support for a vaccine requirement.

Advertisement

Health officials aim to administer 30 million vaccinations by Christmas, and the pace of vaccination must increase to meet that goal. A total of 987,000 doses were administered on Wednesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

Plans to allow pharmacists and dentists to administer vaccines were discussed among leaders of the country.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement