Politicians in Germany are debating a decision to impose full national lockdown as intensive care units fill up and case numbers hit fresh records.
Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn has issued a stark warning, as he urges more people to get jabbed.
“Probably by the end of this winter, pretty much everyone in Germany will receive full vaccination, cured or dead,” Spahn says.
He blamed “the very contagious Delta variant”.
“That is why we so urgently recommend vaccination,” he adds.
Many European countries have seen an increase in cases recently driven by the Delta variant of the virus, including Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and Poland.
Earlier this month, German MPs voted in favour of a new set of measures to fight the pandemic.
The measures include access to public transport or the workplace only for people who received full vaccination.
Already in many regions, unvaccinated people can’t use indoor leisure facilities, such as cafes, bars, gyms or hairdressers. The aim is to encourage even more people to get the vaccine.
At the moment, just under 70% of the population is fully vaccinated – below the EU average.
But the measures can’t yet come into force. The regional governments in Germany’s upper house should approve them. And some conservative politicians have threatened to block the bill.