BERLIN (Reuters) – At least one region in Germany is planning to impose tougher restrictions on people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 as the country faces a fourth wave of the pandemic, a state official was quoted as saying on Sunday.
The German government currently requires people to be vaccinated, test negative or have a recovery certificate to enter indoor restaurants, visit hospitals and nursing homes and attend events, parties or do sports inside
The southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg’s social ministry has proposed banning unvaccinated adults from restaurants and concerts altogether, and restricting their contacts.
“If it hits the intensive care units, we have to act,” Thomas Strobl, Baden-Wuerttemberg’s deputy leader, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
“It would be wrong to hold everyone jointly liable, including the vaccinated. That’s why there will be different rules for the unvaccinated than for the vaccinated.”
The health minister in neighbouring Bavaria also supports the proposals, the paper said.
The leading candidates vying to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel in a federal election on Sept. 26 have pledged there will be no return to the strict lockdowns of last year and earlier this year even as coronavirus infections jump again.
The country reported 8,416 new cases on Sunday and 12 fatalities, bringing the total number of cases to more than 3.9 million and the death toll to 92,130. About 60% of the population has now been fully vaccinated.
Police tussled with protesters demonstrating against COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin on Saturday. More then 100 people were at least temporarily detained, police said.
To nudge more people to get vaccinated, the government has said it will stop offering free tests from Oct. 11, except for those for whom vaccination is not recommended, such as children and pregnant women.
Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Jan Harvey