Germany has announced that those who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 will be put on lockdown, with leaders in the European nation indicating that they will support making the COVID jabs mandatory in the future.
The New York Times  reported that the new rules will ban the unvaccinated from bars, restaurants, and all stores except for those that carry basic necessities. To get into any of these establishments, German residents must present either proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from a recent COVID-19 infection.
“You can see from the decisions that we have understood that the situation is very serious,” Merkel said at a press conference.
“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” Merkel added, according to CNN . “The fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved.”
Merkel’s successor Olaf Scholz pledged this week that he will be pushing for a law that makes getting the COVID-19 shots mandatory. This law could go into effect as early as February of 2022.
“I am glad that in this difficult situation we are working shoulder to shoulder, that party politics is taking a back seat and the health of the citizens is the focus of the common endeavor,” Scholz said.
This comes as Europe in general is considering moving to make the COVID-19 shots mandatory. European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke out to say that it’s time to “potentially think about mandatory vaccination” to combat the omicron variant.
“Two or three years ago, I would never have thought to witness what we see right now, that we have this horrible pandemic, we have the vaccines, the life-saving vaccines, but they are not being used adequately everywhere,” von der Leyen said on Wednesday. “How we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union, this needs discussion. This needs a common approach but it is a discussion that I think has to be led.”
At 68.4%, Germany has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe. Ralf Reintjes, a professor of epidemiology at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, outrageously told CNBC  that he feels that Germany’s latest restrictions aren’t enough to combat a COVID-19 surge.
“I’m very glad that the first steps in the right direction have been taken. It’s more than urgent that new measures come and contact is reduced and people get vaccinated,” he said. “But on the other hand, I’m not so sure — like many of my colleagues, we’re wondering whether these measures in this critical phase are effective enough to lower this wave. It would have been better to have these measures earlier.”