Germany To Ban Unvaccinated People From Many Venues
by Stefan Bos, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Germany’s outgoing chancellor said Thursday that vaccination could become mandatory in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, from February.
Angela Merkel also introduced harsh extra restrictions for the unvaccinated, including bans from non-essential shops and events unless they recovered from COVID-19.
Merkel, who met Germany’s 16 state leaders on Thursday with her successor, Olaf Scholz, called the policies an “act of national solidarity” to halt rising “very serious” COVID cases.
“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” she stressed. “To do this, the fourth wave must be broken, and this has not yet been achieved.”
She spoke as the European Union’s chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said all 27 EU states should consider mandatory vaccinations to combat COVID and the Omicron variant.
Some two dozen countries have reported cases of Omicron, and the EU has tightened travel restrictions since it was first reported earlier this month.
Von der Leyen, the president of the EU’s executive European Commission, said it was “understandable and appropriate” for EU members to discuss mandatory COVID jabs.
She expressed concern that a third of the bloc’s population was unvaccinated. “How we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union?” she wondered.
“This needs discussion. This needs a common approach, but it is a discussion that I think has to be led,” Von der Leyen explained.
Only individual EU members can enforce vaccine mandates, with Austria already announcing compulsory COVID vaccinations from February.
EU member Greece is fining all unvaccinated over-60s already 100 euros ($114) a month.
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