As Germany’s Covid-19 infection rate reached a new high, some of the country’s 16 federal states began to restrict unvaccinated people’s access to events, restaurants, and bars.
North-Rhine Westphalia, the country‘s most populous state, has joined the list of states that now follow the so-called “2G rule.” According to the Xinhua news agency, 2G stands for “geimpft” (vaccinated) and “getestet” (tested).
To attend events during Germany’s Carnival season, also known as the “Fifth Season,” which began on November 11, people must also follow the new rule, which requires vaccinated or recovered individuals to show a fresh negative Covid-19 test. Most of these measures do not apply to children and young people.
“The Covid-19 situation is getting worse,” said Hendrick Wuest, minister president of North-Rhine Westphalia, during a press conference on Tuesday, stressing that the country’s east and south were particularly hard hit.
The seven-day incidence rate in Germany reached a new all-time high of 312.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
For the first time since the pandemic began, the daily number of new infections surpassed 50,000 last week. The RKI recorded 32,048 new infections on Tuesday.
The increase in cases has put additional pressure on negotiators in the ongoing government coalition talks. On Monday, the discussions between the Social Democratic Party, the Greens, and the liberal Free Democratic Party reached a climax.
The Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, is expected to approve a reform of the country’s Infection Protection Act on Thursday. The minister presidents of the federal states are scheduled to meet on the same day to agree on a unified approach to combating the fourth Covid-19 wave.
“This week, the necessary decisions will finally be made and, above all, the uniformity will be agreed that we need for acceptance by the citizens,” acting Health Minister Jens Spahn told the broadcaster ZDF on Monday, reiterating his wish for a uniform 2G regulation throughout Germany.