Germany is set to decide on tougher Covid-19 restrictions and could even opt for a full lockdown amid record daily infections and mounting pressure on hospitals. From a report: Olaf Scholz, Germany’s chancellor-designate, said Wednesday that the Covid situation was serious and that the country would massively push its vaccination campaign, noting that “vaccination is the way out of this pandemic.” Scholz said Germany “should make vaccination compulsory for certain groups,” without stating which groups, while new Finance Minister Christian Lindner stated that Germans should avoid all unnecessary contact this winter “to preserve all of our health in this pandemic.”
That Scholz chose to address the Covid crisis as he and his new government colleagues announced a draft coalition deal on Wednesday shows where the officials’ immediate priorities lie. The country’s outgoing health minister, Jens Spahn, issued a dire warning to Germans this week, saying that by the end of winter “pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, recovered or dead.” Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the heads of Germany’s 16 federal states (which have largely been free to determine their own Covid measures) to decide upon stricter rules by Wednesday. On Tuesday, Spahn reiterated that request, adding that more public spaces should be restricted to the vaccinated, the recently recovered, or those that have had a negative test — otherwise known as the “3G rule.” From Wednesday, 3G rules apply to any Germans going into the workplace or accessing public transport.