German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the future chancellor, Olaf Scholz, met Thursday morning and decided to institute stringent lockdown measures for unvaccinated people in the country. Germany’s new measures will prohibit unvaccinated individuals from being allowed in restaurants, pubs, cinemas, gyms, cultural events, and non-essential shops.
“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” Merkel said at the news conference Thursday.
Unvaccinated persons will be prohibited from shopping at traditional Christmas markets, with some markets having already been ordered to close.
Scholz, who will replace Merkel as chancellor later in December, as opposed to mandating a lockdown for all citizens, instead, he agreed to limit the public access of the unvaccinated. Other restrictions put in place will affect both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, including the reinstitution of the requirement to wear masks in schools.
Germany’s population is currently 68% fully-vaccinated and the country is experiencing a steep uptick in cases. Merkel said the fourth wave of COVID-19 is “hitting our country with full force.”
Over the past several weeks, there have been many protests against Germany’s COVID-19 measures and police reportedly sprayed German protesters with water hoses. Meanwhile, Facebook has been suspending certain accounts linked to German anti-lockdown groups.
Merkel also stated that the country was considering a nationwide mandate that, if agreed upon, would go into effect in February 2021.
“To do this, the fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved,” said Merkel.