Germany on Thursday announced a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated people after crisis talks with regional leaders. Those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 are not covered by the ban. Unvaccinated people will have a lot of major interdictions and can only meet two people from another household. “We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” Merkel told reporters at Thursday’s news conference, the last before she leaves office . Bars and nightclubs must shut down in areas with an incidence rate above 350 cases per 100,000 people over one week and the country would limit the number of people at large events like soccer matches. Fireworks on New Year’s Eve will be banned . It is also possible that Germany will adopt soon the compulsory vaccine mandate as European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it was time to “potentially think about mandatory vaccination” within the bloc.
Germany, much like Austria, has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe, with 68.4% and 65.6% of eligible adults vaccinated respectively. More than 102,000 people in Germany have died as a result of coronavirus. On Wednesday, Olaf Scholz – Merkel’s successor – told reporters that mandatory vaccinations will be considered by the new coalition because “vaccination is the way out of this pandemic.”