Give vaccinated people more freedom, German health minister appeals

Photo: EPA

German Health Minister Jens Spahn called for greater freedoms for people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 after the third wave of coronavirus infections has passed, dpa reported.

They could enjoy greater freedoms in stages, including being able to go to shops and hairdressers, he told Sunday's edition of the mass-circulation Bild newspaper.

People who have received both jabs also would not have go into quarantine, according to the Robert Koch institute (RKI) for disease control. Spahn said this was important for retailers and a gradual reopening of business and public life, based on tests.

He noted that the first priority is handling the current third wave of infections, however.

Germany currently has a seven-day incidence rate of 127 per 100,000 people, the RKI said on Sunday morning, slightly lower than last Friday, which was 134. However, figures are less reliable at Easter, with fewer tests carried out and lower reporting numbers.

Later on, Spahn said those who have had both vaccines could be treated like people who test negative for the virus, saying this would make daily life easier amid the pandemic.

The risk of viral transmission by those who have received both jabs appeared to be low, according to an assessment by the RKI.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer called for uniform regulations nationwide. One aspect of the law would be establishing which steps have to be taken at what infection rate, for lockdowns and easing alike.

A week ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel had criticized some states for failing to implement agreed-upon measures meant to see areas return to a hard lockdown when they reach a certain threshold of infections

On Saturday, a government spokesperson told dpa that lawmakers were weighing whether and how the government should issue uniform guidelines to contain the virus if states' measures proved insufficient.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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