Angela Merkel backs vaccine mandate as Germany imposes further restrictions on unvaccinated

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that people who are not vaccinated will be excluded from nonessential stores, cultural and recreational venues.

arliament will also consider a general vaccine mandate as part of efforts to curb coronavirus infections that again topped 70,000 newly confirmed cases in a 24-hour period.

Speaking after a meeting with federal and state leaders, Ms Merkel said the measures were necessary in light of concerns that hospitals in Germany could become overloaded with people suffering Covid-19 infections, which are more likely to be serious in those who have not been vaccinated.

“The situation in our country is serious,” Ms Merkel told reporters in Berlin, calling the measure an “act of national solidarity”.

She said officials also agreed to require masks in schools, impose new limits on private meetings and aim for 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year  an effort that will be boosted by allowing dentists and pharmacists to administer the shots.

Ms Merkel herself backed the most contentious proposal of imposing a general vaccine mandate. 

The vaccine mandate is likely to be opposed by a minority, though opinion polls show most Germans are in favour.

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