The German Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, opted this Saturday for the mandatory vaccine because, he said, an infection with Omicron “does not necessarily immunize against the next variant” and no one can guarantee that it does not become more dangerous.
“An infection with Omicron does not necessarily immunize against the next variant. The belief that the Omicron variant is the end of the pandemic is naive”, Warned the minister, in an interview for the newspaper Die Welt.
“No one can guarantee that it does not become a much more dangerous variant”, he alerted.
Lauterbach expressed the conviction that mandatory vaccination will help improve the protection of the population, although there will be people who will stay out and will not be vaccinated, even when it is mandatory.
In Germany, the first parliamentary debate on compulsory vaccination will not take place until the last week of January, instead of at the beginning of the year as originally planned.
However, the country’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the Minister of Health Lauterbach maintain as an objective that the legislative process is completed “in the first quarter of the year”, without it being clear when the new law would come into force.
The regional powers claimed for it this Friday “A roadmap” for implementationas well as “speed and leadership”, since, in the words of the Prime Minister of the North Rhine-Westphalian “Land”, Henrik Wüst, “the feeling should not arise that this central issue is used for political tactical games”.
Germany to reduce COVID-19 isolation period and toughen restaurant restrictions
Scholz and the leaders of the Länder have agreed to implement new measures before the expansion of the Omicron variant, such as an exemption to quarantine for certain people, the reduction of it and a tightening of the restrictions to enter bars and restaurants.
Thus, the German authorities have agreed on a waiver of the self-isolation period for people who have received the second or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and people who have recently recovered from the disease, as reported after the first meeting in 2022.
Also, the quarantine period It will be reduced to ten days, with the option of isolating only seven if the isolated person tests negative in a diagnostic test for COVID-19. Currently, the quarantine time for close contacts is set at 14 days.
Referring to the tightening of restrictions on entry into bars and restaurants, Scholz and state leaders have decided that citizens wishing to visit these facilities undergo a diagnostic test first, unless they have the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The entrance to bars and restaurants is already restricted in Germany and only those who have the full vaccination schedule or have recently recovered from the disease can visit these places. This measure will continue in force.
Before the meeting, Lauterbach has targeted restaurants as a “Problem area”, underlining in an interview with RTL which are places where people “sit for hours without a mask on a frequent basis.”
(With information from EFE and Europa Press)