German medical chief joins calls to lift restrictions for vaccinated people

German medical chief joins calls to lift restrictions for vaccinated people

A German medical chief has announced that almost all coronavirus restrictions should be lifted when the vaccination is available to everyone in Germany. His comments come just after Germany’s Health Minister vowed that vaccinated people would not have to go into lockdown again.

Time for Germany's coronavirus restrictions to go

The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance, Andreas Gassen, has told reporters that all coronavirus restrictions will eventually have to go, and it might be sooner rather than later. “By September at the latest, a vaccination offer will be available for everyone who wants to be vaccinated, and then almost all corona measures will actually have to go,” he said. “Everyone can then still decide individually whether he or she wants to continue wearing a mask - but it should no longer be compulsory.”

Gassen believes the move is not just necessary, but will also help convince people to get their jab. “Some people will ask themselves: why should I get vaccinated, do something for herd immunity, if I still have to wear a mask just because 20 to 30 percent of people refuse?” he said in an interview published on Monday.

The German government approved a law back in May making fully vaccinated people exempt from several restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in Germany, including curfew and social distancing restrictions.

No more lockdowns for vaccinated people

Gassen’s comments come after Germany’s Minister for Health, Jens Spahn, said that fully vaccinated people will not be subject to another full lockdown and, if there should be another surge in infections, would not have to follow as many restrictions as unvaccinated people.

Spahn has called for more people to get vaccinated to try and avoid a fourth coronavirus wave. “The more people get vaccinated this summer, the better the autumn will be,” he said. Helge Braun, Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, said on Friday that vaccinated people “are not really at risk and don’t pose a danger to others,” and should therefore be able to go shopping and attend events. “For this large part of the population, many sectors that were completely shut down in the past will not have to close again,” he said.

Half of Germany already vaccinated

So far, just over 55 percent of the German population has received at least one jab, and about 38 percent have been fully vaccinated. The country is currently enjoying falling infection rates, however, there are growing concerns that the Delta variant could spread quickly around the country.

There have also been worrying cases of vaccinated people being infected with the virus and either being asymptomatic or only showing mild symptoms. These people have been shown to still be able to pass on the virus to others.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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