Only people who are vaccinated against COVID-19, or have recovered, will be allowed to go to restaurants, pubs, cinemas, gyms, cultural events, and non-essential shops.
Those who are unvaccinated are only permitted to meet two people from another household. The decision comes after a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel, her soon-to-be replacement Olaf Scholz, and regional leaders.
“Culture and leisure nationwide will be open only to those who have been vaccinated or recovered,” Merkel said. “We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken.”
Merkel also says a nationwide vaccination mandate could be imposed from February 2022, after it’s been debated in parliament.
Eager to avoid lockdowns that could derail a fragile recovery of Europe’s biggest economy, they are expected to keep businesses open to the almost 69 percent of the population that is fully vaccinated as well as those who have recovered from the coronavirus.
The proposals are part of measures Merkel will discuss in a video conference Thursday with Olaf Scholz, her designated SPD successor and current finance minister, together with Germany’s 16 state leaders. Both Merkel and Scholz had excluded mandatory vaccinations until the recent sharp jump in the number of new infections. Scholz, due to be sworn in as Merkel’s successor next week, has voiced support for her proposals.