Nov 18, 2021 - Health

Germany limits public gatherings on unvaccinated

Chancellor Angela Merkel after a meeting between German State Premiers and acting Chancellor on the occasion of the current coronavirus situation, at the Chancellery on Nov. 18, 2021.

Chancellor Angela Merkel during a press conference at the Chancellery on Nov. 18 in Berlin. Photo: Clemens Bilan - Pool/Getty Images

Germany will tighten COVID-19 measures across the country for unvaccinated people as hospitals become full of COVID patients, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The move to limit large gatherings and other restrictions comes as public officials around the world are imposing COVID measures on the unvaccinated amid rising new cases.

The big picture: Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday the move to enforce COVID restrictions is necessary to tackle a "very worrying" fourth wave of the pandemic, per Reuters.

  • Access to public, cultural, sports events and restaurants will be restricted to people who have been vaccinated or who have recovered in places where hospitalization rates exceed a certain threshold.
  • The German government will also consider a request by regional governments for legislation to require care and hospital workers to be vaccinated, Merkel said.
  • "Many of the measures that are now needed would not have been needed if more people were vaccinated. And it isn't too late to get vaccinated now," Merkel said.
  • The Munich Christkindlmarkt, one of Germany’s oldest and biggest Christmas markets, was canceled Wednesday for a second year due to surging cases in the country, per the New York Times.

Of note: Austria's government said Thursday that a full lockdown may be needed as its COVID infections are rising despite the current lockdown for unvaccinated, Reuters reports.

Go deeper: World gets tough on the unvaccinated

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