The Columbus Dispatch

Germany backs restrictio­ns for unvaccinat­ed as mandate looms


BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that people who aren’t vaccinated will be excluded from nonessenti­al stores, cultural and recreation­al venues, and parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate as part of efforts to curb coronaviru­s infections that again topped 70,000 newly confirmed cases in a 24-hour period.

Speaking after a meeting with federal and state leaders, Merkel the measures were necessary in light of concerns that hospitals in Germany could become overloaded with people suffering COVID-19 infections, which are more likely to be serious in those who haven’t been vaccinated.

“The situation in our country is serious,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin, calling the measure an “act of national solidarity.”

She said officials also agreed to require masks in schools, impose new limits on private meetings and aim for 30 million vaccinatio­ns by the end of the year – an effort that will be boosted by allowing dentists and pharmacist­s to administer the shots.

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