On Tuesday, Germany’s health minister called for new restrictions to contain the “significant” increase in coronavirus cases. The infection rate in the country has reached record levels, and the United States has discouraged travel to the country.
The seven-day infection rate, which is the number of people infected out of every 100,000 infected last week, was 399.8 on Tuesday, down from 386.5 on Monday, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
Health Minister Jens Spahn has called for more public places to be restricted to citizens who have been vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid 19 and have also been tested negative, in a bid to contain the fourth wave in Germany.
Spahn did not rule out closures, though he said this would be decided region by region. Some regions such as Saxony and Bavaria are already taking measures such as canceling Christmas markets.
Spahn told German radio that “the situation is not only terrible, but it is now tragic in some parts of Germany.” “We have to move patients because the intensive care units are full and this does not only affect Covid patients,” he added.
In parallel, the German government wants to give a new impetus to vaccination. Spahn told Health Department sources on Monday that Biontech/Pfizer has made delivery of one million doses originally scheduled for December. That will allow him to give 3 million instead of 2 million doses next week, as people rush to get booster doses and appointments at vaccine centers are full. It has not yet been decided whether it will affect the total number of vaccines destined for Germany for the rest of the year.
Rising cases in neighboring Germany and Denmark prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discourage travel to the two countries on Monday, raising travel recommendations to “level four: very high”.
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