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Germany’s Bavaria sounds alarm with skyrocketing covid figures

Germany's large southern state of Bavaria is imposing stricter coronavirus restrictions as infection figures soar in the region.

Munich, 16 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Germany’s large southern state of Bavaria is imposing stricter coronavirus restrictions as infection figures soar in the region.

Five Bavarian districts on Tuesday registered infection rates of over 1,000 per 100,000 people over the last seven days. One district, Saechsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge, has hit an incidence rate of 1,362.4 – over four times the national average.

The rules now in force in Bavaria include restricted access to restaurants and hotels for only those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from covid. Such establishments will be closed to people who have not been fully vaccinated, even if they have a negative coronavirus test.

Bavarian premier Markus Soeder demanded that this rule should be applied nationwide. “It is wrong to only establish a patchwork of measures,” he said.

“What is needed is a comprehensive 2G rule in Germany,” referring to the shorthand in Germany for a rule that allows certain freedoms only to those who are vaccinated or have recovered from covid.

The influential politician called for vaccinated citizens to receive a booster shot five months or more after their last jab, a legal obligation for certain groups of professionals to be vaccinated — one of the most sensitive debates in Germany right now — and mask-wearing in more public places.

A dramatic surge in coronavirus infections is putting extra pressure on the negotiations to form a new coalition government following elections in September that saw a defeat for the conservatives that have been in power for a decade and a half.

Both the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on Monday for more concerted action against a fourth wave of infections.

The probable future chancellor, the SPD’s Olaf Scholz, has said the three parties involved in the coalition talks would be able to take the “decisions necessary to tackle the infection situation.”

They have two more days to do so until a crucial meeting between federal and state leaders on Thursday, and an expected vote in the parliament on changes to current infection laws to tackle the pandemic.

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