ANGELA Merkel has banned unvaccinated Germans from shops and restaurants in draconian Covid restrictions, as leaders warn of a “desperate” Christmas ahead.
Germany has agreed to a series of more stringent measures for free citizens – as well as a gradual restriction system to treat the virus.
German cases are growing in what Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a “dramatic” fourth wave, as the country has registered more than 65,000 cases a day.
She announced initiatives to stop the unvaccinated from visiting bars, restaurants and theaters if hospitalization rates became too high.
Ms Merkel said: “It’s absolutely time to act.”
According to plans revealed by Ms Merkel, German regions will introduce restrictions on a level system depending on hospital capacity.
Access to restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas and events will be limited to those who can show evidence of vaccination or recovery from the virus.
In regions where Covid is spreading, vaccinated people will also have to show a recent negative test.
With the country’s hospitals on the verge of collapse, a shutdown could soon take effect, which will last until December 15th.
Germany’s disease control agency, The Robert Koch Institute, reported 65,371 new daily cases, breaking the previous 24-hour record and continuing an upward trend that experts have been warning about for weeks.
“We are currently going through a major crisis,” institute director Lothar Wieler said during an online debate late Wednesday.
“We’re going to have a really terrible Christmas if we don’t take countermeasures now.
“We’ve never been as anxious as we are now. The outlook is bleak, extremely bleak.
“Anyone who can’t see how important it is is making a big mistake.”
He added: “We need to stop giving those who are unvaccinated opportunities to avoid it with tests.
“Every man and every mouse that can inject a shot should vaccinate people now. Otherwise, we’ll never achieve this.”
But the country’s peak rate is only 68 percent lower than the European average, although many countries have managed to reduce mortality rates.
German lawmakers today passed new legislation that includes requirements for employees to prove they are vaccinated, cured by Covid or to be negative for accessing common jobs.
This is happening as Europe could face another Christmas blockade as cases erupt across the continent.
The World Health Organization has said Europe is the only region in the world where deaths related to Covid have risen last week, as Belgium’s prime minister said the continent was on “red alert”.
Within Europe, the WHO said the highest number of cases came from Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, in Belgium, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has announced a series of measures to avoid a winter key.
“All the alarm signals are red. The map of Europe is rapidly turning red, and we are the same,” he said.
Children as young as ten and older will now have to wear masks, and working from home at least four days a week will be mandatory from Saturday.
EUROPE IN CRISIS
The situation is also getting worse in Italy and it stands on the brink of a fourth confinement as the number of daily cases reaches the highest level since May.
The Netherlands has already introduced partial locking and Austria will impose locking for the two million unvaccinated people on Monday.
Elsewhere, in Sweden, the Government will introduce Covid vaccination from December 1 for indoor events with more than 100 people.
“You who are unvaccinated can’t just go on; your most important contribution is to get vaccinated,” said Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren.
France is hit by a fifth wave of Covid with more than 20,000 cases reported on Wednesday.
Speaking about 20 Minutes, the country’s health minister Olivier Véran said: “The fifth wave is now hitting France.”
He warned that the situation could worsen with letters indicating a risk of more than “1,000 hospitalizations a day by January 2022.”
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun’s news desk?