Germany abandons mandatory vaccination as Covid rules relaxed

Berlin, Apr 4 (EFE).- Proponents of mandatory vaccination in Germany, including health minister Karl Lauterbach, have abandoned their campaign amid insufficient support to introduce the measure in parliament.

The proposal, which was backed by the Social Democrats and the Greens, two partners in a tripartite governing coalition, but not by the Liberals, who make up the third member of the ruling alliance, was due to be put to a vote on Thursday.

An alternative bill that would make vaccination mandatory for people over 50 has broader, cross-party support and is considered likelier to succeed.

Social Democrat chancellor Olaf Scholz was initially in favor of compulsory vaccination when the measure was first mooted last year.

Germany lifted most Covid restrictions last weekend, despite infection rates being at their highest levels of any time during the pandemic.

Mask requirements will remain in force on public transport and in hospitals, clinics and government institutions, although federal states have the discretion to keep mask mandates and other restrictions in place.

The Robert Koch Institute of Virology (RKI) says the peak of the sixth wave of infections has passed. The cumulative weekly incidence per 100,000 inhabitants stood at 1,424.6 cases on Monday, with a total of 41,129 new infections in 24 hours.

The rate of citizens with the full course of the vaccine is 76.0%, while 58.8% also received the booster dose. EFE


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