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Germany’s Bayern Munich penalises unvaccinated players as five in quarantine

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have docked the wages of unvaccinated players like star midfielder Joshua Kimmich who, along with four unimmunised teammates, is in quarantine over contact with Covid-infected individuals, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Bayern Munich's midfielder Joshua Kimmich reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg in Munich
Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich, pictured, is just one of the German club's unvaccinated players in quarantine without pay at the moment. Christof STACHE / AFP

Hours after reports emerged that the club was docking the pay of unvaccinated players put in quarantine, Bayern said Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance also had to be isolated over contact with an individual who tested positive.

The news is an unwelcome distraction, two days before Tuesday’s Champions League tie at Dynamo Kiev with Bayern already through to the last 16.

All besides Cuisance had only just completed a first round of house isolation on Tuesday as they had contact with Bayern team-mate Niklas Suele, who tested positive last week.

The latest quarantine order risks inflaming an already heated debate over whether sports personalities should be required to take the jab as Germany ails under a vicious fourth wave.

Kimmich, 26, had drawn sharp criticism since revealing he opted not to be vaccinated due to “personal concerns”.

Bayern bosses reportedly summoned him and his four unvaccinated teammates on Thursday to inform them of the pay cut when they are in isolation because they have not taken the jab, Bild said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources from the team.

READ MORE: 2G and 2G plus: Germany to tighten restrictions on the unvaccinated

Bayern have declined to comment.

Under new rules taking effect from November 1st, employees who miss work because of a quarantine are no longer entitled to receive compensation if they are unvaccinated.

For Kimmich, whose annual pay reaches 20 million euros ($23 million), a week’s quarantine means earning losses of about 384,000 euros.

His absence has left his club struggling. On Friday, the Bundesliga leaders crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at Augsburg.

‘A sign’
Former Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told broadcaster Sky that if the wage cuts are confirmed, they “should be understood as a sign that the club is now reacting. Because it must react.”

Germany’s failure to shake off the pandemic has deep financial consequences for Bayern, he said.

Latest curbs imposed to tame the infections surge mean the club can only host one in four spectators at its stadium.

“That’s of course also a big loss for FC Bayern,” said Rummenigge.

Germany is battling a renewed surge of the virus with infection numbers hitting new records this week.

A relatively low vaccination rate — hovering under 70 percent — has left the country vulnerable.

READ ALSO: How Germany’s booster jab campaign compares to other countries

German leaders this week decided new curbs to spur those holding out against the jab to change their minds.

Those not immunised will have to provide negative tests to use public transport or go to the office.

They will also be shut out of restaurants, sporting events and cultural shows in regions where the hospitalisation rate stands at above three patients per 100,000 over the past seven days.

The national average reached 5.5 on Sunday.

In the worst-hit zones, regional leaders have imposed partial shutdowns.

The state of Saxony has ordered all sporting and cultural venues shut, banned tourism and public consumption of alcohol.

Christmas markets, which were due to open on Monday, have been cancelled across Saxony and Bavaria.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany finalises new Covid restrictions for winter

Member comments

  1. “His absence has left his club struggling”…please leave sports analysis to the experts. all blame nagelsmann lineup, subs and set plays as the reason they lost, not kimmich. you can blame him for not getting vaccinated but not for the loss.

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COVID-19

Is the pandemic over in Germany?

As much of Germany lifts - or prepares to lift - the last remaining Covid-19 measures, intensive care units say Covid-19 admissions are no longer straining the system.

Is the pandemic over in Germany?

Despite a difficult winter of respiratory illnesses, intensive care units in Germany say Covid-19 admissions have almost halved. The number of cases having to be treated in the ICU has gone down to 800 from 1,500 at the beginning of this month.

“Corona is no longer a problem in intensive care units,” Gernot Marx, Vice President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, told the German Editorial Network. “A the moment, we don’t have to think every day about how to still ensure the care of patients, but how to actually run a service that can help.”

Marx said the drop has allowed them to catch up on many postponed surgeries.

The number of sick employees in hospitals is also falling, helping to relieve the pressure on personnel.

The easing pressure on hospitals correlates with the assessment of prominent virologist and head of the Virology department at Berlin’s Charite – Christian Drosten – who said in December that the pandemic was close to ending, with the winter wave being an endemic one.

German federal and state governments are now in the midst of lifting the last of the country’s pandemic-related restrictions. Free Covid-19 antigen tests for most people, with exceptions for medical personnel, recently ended.

READ ALSO: Free Covid-19 tests end in Germany

Six federal states – Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein – have ended mandatory isolation periods for people who test positive for Covid-19.

Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein have ended the requirement to wear FFP2 masks on public transport, while Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia, and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will follow suit on February 2nd.

At that time, the federal government will also drop its requirement for masks to be worn on long-distance trains. Labour Minister Hubertus Heil says that’s when he also intends to exempt workplaces – apart from medical locations – from a mask requirement.

READ ALSO: Germany to drop mask mandate in trains and buses from February 2nd

Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg will also end the requirement for patients to wear a mask in doctor’s offices. That’s a requirement that, so far, will stay in place everywhere else. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has also said that he thinks this requirement should remain. 

But some public health insurers and general practitioners are calling for a nationwide end to the obligation for wearing masks in doctor’s offices.

“The pandemic situation is over,” National Association of Statutory Health Physicians (KBV) Chair Andreas Gassen told the RND network. “High-risk patients aren’t treated in all practices. It should generally be left up to medical colleagues to decide whether they want to require masks in their practices.”

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