German Transport Minister advises against Christmas travel

BERLIN – Germany’s incoming Transport Minister is advising people not to travel over Christmas as the country tries to stem a wave of coronavirus infections.

Federal and state leaders on Thursday announced tough new restrictions aimed at the largely unvaccinated, preventing them from entering stores, restaurants, sporting and cultural venues that are not necessary, needs. In a longer-term move, parliament will consider a joint mandate on vaccines.

Volker Wissing, whose pro-business party has appointed him transport minister in the upcoming government, told the Sunday edition of the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that “in the current situation, it seems more logical. when celebrating Christmas in a small group at home and not. to plan big trips around the country.”

“Winter 2021 will be more dramatic than winter 2020,” he added.

The new government under the appointment of centre-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to take office on Wednesday, subject to the three parties signing their coalition agreement and Scholz winning the majority support. Parliament.

At least 68.9% of Germans are fully immunized against COVID-19, falling short of the government’s target of a minimum 75% vaccination rate. The shortfall is believed to be a major factor in the rise in new virus infections in recent weeks.

Official figures suggest the infection rate may be stabilizing now, but at too high levels. On Sunday, the national center for disease control reported 42,055 new cases daily and a seven-day infection rate of 439.2 new cases per 100,000 residents. Another 94 deaths in 24 hours bring Germany’s total number of confirmed people in the pandemic to 103,040.

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel made one last direct call for Germans to get vaccinated on Saturday, saying a resurgence of the dead was “very bitter because it could have been avoided.”


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