In this Tuesday, March 30, 2021 file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs the media after a virtual meeting with federal state governors at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, Pool, File)
UPDATED 10:50 AM PT – Friday, December 3, 2021
Germany is taking away freedoms from certain citizens in a move eerily similar to the country’s past. Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced new restrictions for unvaccinated citizens on Thursday. Moving forward, Germans without the jab will be barred from enjoying various activities throughout the federal republic.
“Access to leisure, sports and cultural activities will be limited Germany-wide to those who are vaccinated or have recovered (from COVID-19), irrelevant of the incidence rate,” Merkel stated. “Additional testing, the so-called 2G Plus rule, could be applied in some instances. 2G rules will be extended to the retail sector, with the exception of shops selling everyday needs.”
Merkel justified the measure due to a fourth wave of positive cases throughout her country despite having an almost 70 percent national vaccination rate. However. the fatality rate of COVID-19 has failed to be persuasive enough to reach Merkel’s threshold of a 75 percent vaccination rate.
By creating two classes of people, the German government believes it can increase the attractiveness of receiving a vaccine. Merkel’s likely successor, Olaf Scholz, fully supports the measure while alleging the government has given its citizens more than enough time to comply.
“These access restrictions are now acceptable because everyone has the ability to change his situation by getting vaccinated,” Scholz stated. “There are enough vaccines available and everyone could have done it a long time ago.”
Germans have not been forced to get vaccinated yet, however, Merkel may be prodding her people to get the jab for Christmas before it becomes mandatory.
“Mandatory vaccinations will be discussed and voted on in the German Parliament, and the government and the states will ask the Ethics Council to work out a recommendation by year’s end,” explained the German Chancellor. “Mandatory vaccinations could then, if approved in parliament, become effective around February 2022.”
Merkel mentioned that staying up to date on one’s booster shots will be crucial to the state’s definition of “fully vaccinated.” Germany’s measures are similar to those of Austria and New Zealand in trying to get people vaccinated through discriminatory policies rather than the science.