Germany Bans the Unvaccinated from Restaurants, Shops, and Public Venues
Germany is excluding the unvaccinated from much of public life and U.S. policy makers are floating new restrictions of their own in response to rising COVID-19 cases and the omicron variant. On Thursday, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor, Olaf Scholz, announced that Germans who haven’t been vaccinated or recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection will be barred from entering all but the most essential businesses.
They will no longer be allowed to enter shops, restaurants, museums, movie theaters, and other public venues, reports Deutsche Welle. Private gatherings of the unvaccinated will also be limited to one household. Additionally, nightclubs and music venues will be forced to close in areas of the country with higher cases counts.
This is “how we get out of this crisis,” said Scholz, who will take over as chancellor next week, at a news conference. “If we had a higher vaccination rate, we wouldn’t be discussing this now.”
Some 69 percent of Germans are fully vaccinated, compared to 59 percent in the U.S.
Federal and state lawmakers in Germany are expected to vote on these restrictions in the coming days. They will also consider mandating vaccines sometime next year.
In neighboring Austria, the government has imposed a populationwide lockdown to contain a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. Those restrictions were supposed to last for 10 days, but were recently extended to a cumulative 20 days. The country is also in the process of crafting a populationwide vaccine mandate.
Protests have flared up across Europe in response to the new pandemic restrictions. The New York Times reports German protests have been relatively small, attracting only a few thousand people. Tens of thousands of people have flocked to the streets of Vienna in protest of Austria’s impending vaccine mandate and lockdown, reports Politico. In the Netherlands, riots broke out earlier this month at protests organized against the county’s vaccine passport system.
Things are a little more tranquil here in the U.S. Nevertheless, the Biden administration, which has already imposed travel restrictions and testing requirements for international travelers to the U.S., has hinted that tougher measures might be on the way.
“Nothing is off the table,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at a news conference on Tuesday in response to a question about whether the administration would consider requiring people be vaccinated to board domestic flights or shipping at-home COVID-19 tests to all Americans.
Today, President Joe Biden is also set to announce tougher travel restrictions that will require people coming to the U.S. to be vaccinated and be tested for COVID-19 both before and after they enter the country. He’ll also announce a nationwide campaign encouraging booster shots, and a new policy requiring health insurers to cover 100 percent of the costs of a COVID-19 test.
Masks are also here to stay in a few of the country’s more hypochondriac jurisdictions. Oregon’s state government is reportedly in discussions to make its indoor mask mandate a permanent rule.
INDOOR MASKING IN OREGON — It’s likely here to STAY.
Today, @OHAOregon worked with stakeholders (like those in the restaurant industry, bu
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