Germany steps closer to making Covid vaccines mandatory, imposes strict curbs on unvaccinated

German lawmakers have implemented new curbs for the unvaccinated and made plans to vote on making Covid vaccines mandatory.

National and regional leaders agreed on Thursday to ban Germany’s unvaccinated population from all non-essential businesses, such as bars, restaurants and movie theaters in a bid to encourage vaccine uptake.

Additional measures are also being introduced in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, including limits on live sports spectators, additional tests for the vaccinated and mask mandates in schools.

Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows that 68.4% of the German population is fully vaccinated, slightly above the EU-wide vaccination rate of 66%.

More than 1 million Covid vaccines were administered in Germany on Thursday, although the vast majority of those were booster doses.

Over the last 28 days, Germany has had the second-highest number of new Covid-19 cases in the world after the United States. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the country recorded more than 1.3 million positive tests in the last four weeks and 6,222 deaths from the virus.

Thursday saw 73,209 new cases of the coronavirus in Germany, bringing case incidence up to 439 per 100,000 people, according to the Robert Koch Institute. Last week, a record 79,051 positive tests were reported in a single day.

Meanwhile, 321 people were admitted to Germany’s intensive care units with Covid-19 on Thursday, with 21% of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients.

Both Germany’s DAX index and the pan-European Stoxx 600 index were trading slightly lower on Friday morning following the news that part of the country’s population would be excluded from engaging fully in the economy.