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This is how Germany plans to ease restrictions for vaccinated people

This is how Germany plans to ease restrictions for vaccinated people

This is how Germany plans to ease restrictions for vaccinated people

The German government is pressing forward with plans to ease restrictions for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. After receiving the cabinet’s approval, a draft regulation now needs to be passed through the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, and could come into force as early as this weekend. Here’s an overview of what’s being proposed. 

New freedoms for vaccinated people could come this weekend

A new law, which provides for the loosening of coronavirus restrictions for vaccinated individuals, or those who have recovered from the virus, has been given approval by a meeting of government ministers. It is expected to gain the approval of both the Bundestag and the Bundesrat (which represents Germany’s federal states) by Friday. 

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday that he hoped that the new law would be passed “ideally in the course of this week, next week at the latest.” 

What does the new law on vaccine rights say?

Under the proposed rules, individuals who are fully vaccinated, as well as individuals who have recovered from a coronavirus infection, would be given new freedoms, even as lockdown restrictions remain in place for the rest of society. 

For instance, those who can demonstrate that they are vaccinated (or recovered) would be treated the same as those who have a negative test result. This would mean they would be allowed to “enter shops, visit zoos and botanical gardens, or use the services of hairdressers and podiatrists without prior testing.” 

Restrictions would also be eased for gatherings of vaccinated or recovered people. According to the latest draft of the law, the previous restriction on meetings “does not apply to a private gathering attended exclusively by vaccinated persons or recovered persons.” The proposals could also see the nighttime curfew rule being lifted or relaxed for vaccinated people.

Spahn has also indicated that people arriving in Germany from abroad would not need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test if they had proof of double vaccination. Similarly, the quarantine obligation could also be dropped, except for passengers travelling from virus variant areas such as India and Brazil. 

However, under current plans, vaccinated people would still be obliged to wear a face mask in certain public places and follow social distancing rules. 

Doctors and police have unanswered questions

The proposed law comes shortly after a handful of federal states pressed ahead and brought in new freedoms for vaccinated people, putting pressure on the government, which had previously announced that uniform regulations would not come until the end of May. 

Although many have responded positively to the news that federal plans are now on the table, the reaction has not been unanimous. Doctors and police in Germany said on Tuesday that they still had a lot of uncertainties, unanswered questions and concerns, particularly regarding testing requirements for vaccinated travellers. 

The head of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service, Ute Teichert, told the Funke media group: “vaccinated people absolutely have to continue to be tested. It would be fatal if vaccinated people and people who have recovered were exempt from all test obligations, for example when entering the country… Without comprehensive tests, we lose track of what is happening with infections - especially with regard to virus variants.” 

The German Police Union is also demanding clearer guidelines on what kind of vaccine documents will be accepted as proof at Germany’s borders. 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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