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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

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
22 hours ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

14 hours ago - Health

Fauci: It's "when, not if" definition of "fully vaccinated" changes

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN Wednesday that in his personal opinion, "it's going to be a matter of when, not if," the definition of "fully vaccinated" changes.

What he's saying: Fauci said he doesn't see the definition "changing tomorrow or next week," but he believes it's "going to be considered literally on a daily basis."

20 hours ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.