July 7, 2022

In Germany, the New Year limited to 10 (2 for the unvaccinated)

CORONAVIRUS – Not the heart to the party. Faced with the threat of the Omicron variant which hits it – like the rest of Europe and the United States – with full force, Germany will limit contact, even between vaccinated people, to a maximum of ten guests for the holidays New Year’s Day. Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced it this Tuesday, December 21.

“It is no longer the time to party and spend convivial evenings in large numbers”, underlined the head of the German government after a meeting with the leaders of the 16 regional states, assuring that “the fifth vague threat already ”. This limitation will apply from December 28 for all private meetings in particular. For the unvaccinated, the limit drops to a maximum of two guests.

Elsewhere, Olaf Scholz has announced that all sporting events in Germany will take place behind closed doors no later than December 28, too. The measure should logically also concern the resumption of the Bundesliga from January 7. “In order to slow the spread of the virus, major interregional events can no longer be organized with the public, this concerns in particular football matches”, declared the Chancellor after a crisis meeting with representatives of the regions.

Same story for clubs and discotheques which will also close their doors across the country. They are already in some regions particularly affected by the pandemic, such as Bavaria.

Calls for (even) more restrictions

The Social Democratic leader ruled that if the Omicron variant had not yet completely swept over Germany, it was only “a matter of a few weeks” before it did. On this occasion, he strongly recommended that the Germans carry out tests before meeting for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Unlike neighboring Netherlands, Germany does not plan to close shops deemed non-essential, cinemas or restaurants, considering it sufficient to limit their access to people who have been vaccinated or cured. In recent weeks, experts and virologists have increased calls for more restrictions in the face of the expected wave linked to the Omicron variant. However, Germany has already tightened restrictions on several occasions, especially for the 30% of its inhabitants who are not vaccinated.

“The number of infections will massively increase in the coming weeks, we must prepare for it now”, underlined Chancellor Olaf Scholz, calling for the “individual responsibility” of the Germans concerning the respect of the new restrictions.

The largest European economy has been affected since the beginning of the autumn by a virulent resumption of the epidemic. The number of new cases has declined slightly since the return to many restrictions, but the level of contamination remains high. This Tuesday, December 21, it reached nearly 24,000 cases in 24 hours while on Saturday it rose to nearly 43,000.

See also on The HuffPost: Who is Olaf Scholz, Angela Merkel’s successor in Germany