Germany to thrash out tougher Covid measures on Thursday

A sign for Covid rules at a Christmas market in Frankfurt.
A sign for Covid rules at a Christmas market in Frankfurt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julia Cebella
Political leaders are to bring forward planned Covid crisis talks by a week - and will decide on new restrictions aimed at taming the fourth wave.

A remote meeting was held on Tuesday between outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

However – as planned – no new restrictions have been announced. They will instead be decided on later this week at the State Premiers’ Minister Conference (MPK). This meeting is scheduled for Thursday instead of December 9th. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, political leaders discussed possible Covid measures, including mandatory vaccinations, in light of the drastic fourth wave that has seen intensive care units struggling in many parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s next chancellor Scholz ‘backs compulsory vaccinations’

Other restrictions on the table include the closures of bars and clubs, and limiting large events.

Bavarian premier Markus Söder told reporters he expected Bundesliga football games to return to playing to empty stands, following an outcry over
a packed stadium in Cologne at the weekend.

“It’s clear that something needs to change when it comes to football,” Söder said.

Several hard-hit German regions, including Bavaria and Saxony, have already cancelled Christmas markets and barred the unvaccinated from public spaces like gyms and leisure facilities.

But critics say the patchwork of rules is confusing, and many are calling for nationwide rules. 

According to sources, Scholz told participants at the talks that he is in favour of barring the unvaccinated from more parts of public life, including non-essential retail.

Scholz said he also wanted to see 30 million Covid jabs administered to people in Germany by Christmas. He suggested that more professionals should be able to carry out jabs, such as dentists and vets, to get more vaccines into arms. 

It came after Germany’s highest court ruled that the ’emergency brake’ measures brought in earlier this year which included curfews and contact restrictions were lawful. 

There have been calls for the country to reintroduce the emergency brake to get a grip on the current situation.

READ ALSO: Will Germany bring in Covid ’emergency brake’ restrictions?

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