Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel’s chief of staff has warned that restrictions on unvaccinated individuals may be necessary if the number of COVID-19 cases reaches new heights in the months to come.
However, in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Helge Braun Bild said he expects other lockdowns in Germany due to coronavirus.
Unvaccinated people can be banned from entering places like restaurants, cinemas and stadiums “because the residual risk is too high.” Braun said.
Braun states that vaccination is important to protect against serious illness and because “vaccinated people will definitely have more freedoms than unvaccinated people.”
Such actions would be legitimate because “the state has the responsibility to protect the health of its citizens.” He added.
In recent weeks, German vaccine efforts have slowed leading to discussions on how to motivate unvaccinated people to take the vaccine. Over 60% of Germany’s population has been vaccinated with one dose and over 49% have been fully vaccinated.
With the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant in Germany, politicians discussed the possibility of vaccine demand for certain jobs, including healthcare workers, but nothing have been implemented until now.
During a visit to the government-run disease control agency Robert Koch Institute, Merkel excluded new vaccine requirements for now as they would like to focus on encouraging vaccinations for the time being, she said.
However, she added, “I’m not ruling out that this might be talked about differently in a few months either.”
The governor of the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, pointed out on Sunday that vaccine requirements could be more needed if the Delta variant and others were to emerge.
Other people warned against freedoms and rights based on a single vaccination assessment and expressed disapproval of Braun’s comments on Sunday.
The parliamentary group leader for the pro-business Free Democrats, Marco Buschmann said in an interview with the Redaktions Netzwerk Deutschland newspaper, “Of course we need incentives to reach the highest possible vaccination rate.”
Nevertheless, if the fact is that unvaccinated people who have been tested or recovered for the virus pose less risk than those who are vaccinated, it “would be a violation of their basic rights to impose such restrictions on unvaccinated people,” he added.