Germany to Lift Majority of COVID-19 Restrictions, Despite Epidemiological Situation

Germany’s government has announced that it would relax the majority of restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus and its new strains, despite the fact that the country is recording high rates of infections caused by the virus, especially the Omicron variant.

The decision comes after Germany’s parliament voted to lift the restrictions imposed on public spaces across the country; however, such a decision has not been considered appropriate by the opposition Christian Democratic Union, reports.

The parliament approved a new law on Friday that abolishing the majority of preventive measures imposed due to the Coronavirus, while the new Infection Protection Act was considered a “difficult compromise” by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach.

Authorities in Germany have that the requirement to wear a mask will remain compulsory on public transport as well as hospitals and care homes; however, it will no longer be obligatory in restaurants and shops.

The 3G rule of being vaccinated against the virus or recovered or tested is also abolished for long-distance rail travel.

However, mask-wearing, as well as mandatory tests, can be required in hospitals, care facilities as well as doctor’s clinics.

In addition, authorities in Germany have also that the obligation to meet the 3G rule at workplaces will no longer be applied. Still, companies can introduce their own rules, taking into account the epidemiological situation.

The government has also that the 16 German states are permitted to keep the measures in place and also impose additional measures in case of deterioration of the COVID-19

The new changes introduced by German authorities were a compromise between Lauterbach’s Social Democrats (SPD) as well as the Free Democratic Party (FDP), part of SPD Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s governing coalition.

According to Deutsche Welle, without the new law, the restrictions imposed previously by the country’s authorities due to COVID-19 would have expired on Saturday.

“We can’t continue to shield the whole country to protect a small group of those unwilling from being vaccinated,” Minister Lauterbach has stressed in this regard.

Authorities in Germany have registered a total of 18,287,986 cases of COVID-19 infection since the start of the pandemic, while a total of 126,646 people have died during the same period, based on the data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The same source shows that in the last seven days, over 1,530,320 cases of COVID-19 infection have been registered in the last seven days, while more than 1,370 people have died during the same period.

According to the figures provided by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), only on March 17 did Germany register over 294,000 cases of COVID-19 infection.

In this regard, Germany’s Health Minister Lauterbach emphasizes that the pandemic “is unfortunately not over yet” while adding that the country needs further protective measures.

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