Germany to bring forward plan for nationwide freedoms for vaccinated people

Germany to bring forward plan for nationwide freedoms for vaccinated people
Hundreds of people queueing for the AstraZeneca vaccine in Schwerin, northern Germany, on April 30th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Jens Büttner
The German government is proposing new freedoms for vaccinated people and those who've recovered from Covid-19 - and the regulation looks set to come into force earlier than originally planned.

Several German states have already started easing restrictions for those who are fully inoculated against coronavirus, as well as for people who have recovered from Covid-19.

But now the German government is planning to push through new regulations to allow for freedoms for these groups of people – that would apply uniformly across the country.

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, of the Social Democrats, told the broadcaster ARD on Sunday evening that he thinks it is realistic that the planned regulation will come into the cabinet on Wednesday, and that the Bundestag and Bundesrat will approve it at the end of the week.

“We have the ambition that we’ll get this approval and that would also be the right course for the rights of the citizens,” he told the programme Report from Berlin.

On Monday, the coronavirus cabinet will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, of the Christian Democrats, and several ministers to discuss the plans.

Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) had previously submitted a draft that the federal government planned to vote on internally by “the beginning of the week”.

Under the plans, the fully vaccinated, and people who’ve recovered from Covid, would be able to “enter shops, visit zoos and botanical gardens or use the services of hairdressers and podiatrists without prior testing”.

They also wouldn’t have to stick to curfew rules. Mask and distance requirements would continue to apply to everyone.

IN DETAIL: These are Germany’s planned new freedoms for vaccinated people

Government under pressure from states

It comes after Health Minister Jens Spahn said last week the government aimed to bring in the uniform regulations by the end of May. Several states pushed back, bringing in vaccination rights immediately. This move has clearly put pressure on the government to act faster. 

Saarland’s state premier Tobias Hans said he was pleased to see that “federal plans are now on the table” and wanted to see the nationwide law pushed through his week.

“The extensive restrictions on fundamental rights must not become permanent,” the CDU politician told the newspapers in the Funke media group on Monday.

In addition to Saarland, other states that have already given vaccinated people more freedoms include Berlin, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Germany reached a milestone last week when it vaccinated more than a million people in one day. The vaccination campaign has been turbo charged after more supplies of vaccines were delivered this month, and GPs got involved in the rollout.

This will continue in the coming weeks as more specialists – and in-house company doctors – are given the green light to inoculate people against coronavirus.

Some states have also dropped the priority order for receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, meaning all adults can apply for it. This has also given the campaign a boost.

Up to April 30th 26.9 percent of the population had received at least one vaccine dose. About 7.7 percent of the country is fully inoculated against Covid-19.

Vocabulary

Vaccinated people – (die) Geimpfte/(die) Impflingen

Recovered from Covid-19 – von Covid-19 Genesene 

Ambition (der) Ehrgeiz

Restrictions on basic rights – (die) Grundrechtseinschränkungen

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.


Member comments

  1. Nice for those fully vaccinated, but this will totally negate the Emergency Brake – the ones who want to flaunt the rules will use this to go back to normal; or are the Police etc. going to stop EVERY car that drives during the night curfew, check EVERY gathering in a Park, EVERY House with a bunch of cars pulled up outside? They’ve done a crap job of enforcing that anyway around us, so it’ll be total chaos after this Bill passes.

  2. would someone whose residence is in another EU member state be eligible for a vaccination while on a temporary visit to Germany?

    1. Currently I do not believe that is possible. Each state runs the program in a different way, and as far as I am aware they all check to see that yo are living/working in the state. Also and there are very long registration lines and so its not very predictable when you could get a appointment.

  3. Any idea how to push for an appointment if you believe you are part of some risk group? I would not rather wait until July or so if there’s a possibility to get it sooner somehow.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.