Saturday, September 30, 2023

Germany will limit personal contacts after Christmas but there will be no lockdown

“We cannot close our eyes to the new wave rising before us,” says Scholz.

Germany will limit personal contacts after Christmas but there will be no lockdown

The Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, announced on Tuesday a tightening of restrictions in Germany immediately after the Christmas festivities and before the New Year holidays before the “fifth wave” of the pandemic that threatens this country with the spread of the omicron variant. “I can understand every one of those who do not want to hear about new variants of the coronavirus, but we cannot close our eyes to the new wave that is rising before us,” Scholz said at the end of a meeting with the prime ministers. of the 16 federal states to address the national situation due to the pandemic. The Social Democratic politician stressed that the new and strict limitations on personal contacts will take effect “at the latest” on December 28 and will affect not only the unvaccinated but also those who are immunized or have overcome the disease. For the latter, gatherings of more than 10 people will be prohibited and the former should not meet more than with people from their own home. There will, however, not be confinement of the population as dictated in the neighboring Netherlands.

The federal government and regional executives, however, disregarded the call a few hours before from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) to dictate “maximum limits on personal contacts” and “maximum preventive measures to avoid infections.” While Lothar Wieler, president of the RKI and head of coordination in the fight against the pandemic in Germany demanded the “immediate” implementation of the demands of his body, Scholz and the prime ministers did not want to order the limitation of contacts until after the holidays of Christmas and before the New Years. The RKI had warned that by the beginning of the year the omicron variant will dominate the scene of infections in this country and will cause tens of thousands of daily infections. However, both the Federal Chancellor and his Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, had expressed their will not to dictate confinement of the population like the one that already affects the population of neighboring Netherlands before Christmas Eve. “There will be no hard closing before Christmas. That is clear, “Lauterbach had told the press.

Scholz announced the immediate closure of discos and clubs, as well as the return to holding the Bundesliga matches without an audience. This is not the time for parties or social gatherings, said the Federal Chancellor, who acknowledged that “I would have liked to give you happier news before Christmas.” Restaurants and bars can only be accessed, as before, with a certificate of vaccination or having healed from the disease. The Social Democratic leader made a new call to vaccinate all those who so far refuse to be immunized and warned that the danger of contagion is appreciably greater with the omicron variant. He also asked the population between the Christmas festivities to carry out tests before reuniting as a family to avoid infections that could have been avoided.

For her part, the new mayor-governor of Berlin, the also social democrat Franziska Giffey, stressed that the vaccination campaign to apply the third dose and immunize those who have not done so until now will continue throughout the festivities. “We must join forces to push for vaccination and booster doses,” Giffey said. In addition to the 30 million vaccines that the authorities hope to apply from the end of November and before the end of the year, the Berlin and regional governments set the goal of inoculating another 30 million doses during January to achieve until then that 75% of the population have completed the immunization process.


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