Summit to decide new COVID restrictions brought forward to Thursday
The next coronavirus summit between federal and state leaders has been brought forward by a week. A possible new round of restrictions aimed at tackling the fourth wave of coronavirus in Germany will now be thrashed out on Thursday, December 2.
New COVID restrictions to be decided on December 2
On Tuesday, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel held an online meeting with incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Alongside the Federal Constitutional Court ruling on the legality of the emergency brake, the leaders discussed possible further COVID rules, including compulsory vaccinations, contact restrictions, the closure of bars and clubs, and downsizing of large events.
However, as planned, no concrete measures were agreed upon. Instead, Merkel and Scholz announced that new restrictions would be decided at the state premiers’ summit (MPK) on Thursday, December 2.
Calls for mandatory vaccinations and 2G rules in shops
The 16 federal states therefore have two days to prepare their suggestions for Thursday. Both Scholz and the CDU / CSU Union have proposed a number of far-reaching coronavirus measures, including a general vaccination requirement, compulsory mask-wearing in schools, and mandatory 2G rules in nonessential shops.
Ministers in Union-led states also suggested that unvaccinated people should be subject to contact restrictions once again. This would see them allowed to meet a maximum of five people from two separate households, not including vaccinated people and children under the age of 12.
30 million vaccinations by Christmas
The federal and state governments also want to come up with a concrete plan to significantly boost the vaccination rate by the Christmas holidays. The target would be to administer 30 million first, second and booster vaccinations by the end of the year. In order to achieve this, the SPD wants to significantly expand the circle of professionals who are allowed to administer vaccinations, to include pharmacists, dentists and veterinarians.
On Tuesday, Germany’s top court ruled that the “emergency brake” imposed by the federal government earlier this year was constitutional. The law obliged districts and regions to implement far-reaching measures such as contact restrictions and curfews if the seven-day incidence rate rose above a predetermined threshold. Several state premiers have now called for similar nationwide restrictions to be reintroduced in Germany to help contain the fourth wave.
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