• Germany: the State Regions conference ratifies the exclusion of the unvaccinated from social life

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November 19, 2021 Bavaria, one of the regions most affected in Germany by the new wave of Covid-19, will impose a lockdown on the districts with an incidence of coronavirus cases of over 1,000 infected per 100 thousand inhabitants. "Everything must be closed in these places," said Land President Mark Söder.

There will be exceptions for daycare, schools and retailers. In these districts, one customer is allowed for every 20 square meters. The lockdown measures are expected to apply until mid-December. Eight Bavarian districts currently have an incidence of over 1,000 cases.

The Bavarian head of government also announced the cancellation of all Christmas markets in the German region: "The situation is very, very serious and complicated," he said at a press conference in Munich, adding that bars and nightclubs will also be closed in places where infection rates are particularly high. 

Bavaria also introduces contact restrictions for unvaccinated people: a maximum of five people from two households can meet. Children under the age of 12, as well as those who have been vaccinated, are not included.

Hospitals in the region have sent out a dramatic call for help, in the wake of the increase in the number of Covid-19 infections and what they think will be an overload of intensive care units. "The current situation is more dramatic than it has ever been in Bavaria during the entire pandemic," said the managing director of the Bavarian Hospital Society, Roland Engehausen, as reported by Der Spiegel.

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in Bavaria is increasing by about 30% every week without harsh countermeasures, the executive warned. In Bavarian clinics even oncological operations should be postponed indefinitely due to the current situation. Transferring patients to neighboring federal states is also becoming increasingly difficult.   

The vast majority of ICU admissions would have been preventable through vaccinations, Engehausen said. "At this moment it is important that every single person gets vaccinated, not only out of solidarity but also because the treatments are no longer optimal, as one might have thought a few weeks ago", he added. 

The 2G and 3G system

Faced with the "dramatic situation" of the fourth wave of Covid, which today marks 53 thousand new infections, after yesterday's record of 65 thousand, and over 200 deaths, the government of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has adopted measures with the Lander that limit the access of the unvaccinated to public places. In regions where there are more than three Covid patients in hospital for every 100 thousand inhabitants, 2G comes into force, i.e. the limitation of access to restaurants, theaters and cinemas only to vaccinated and recovered people. While the measure that provides for 3G - vaccinated, cured or tested - for access to workplaces and public transport has been approved by the German Parliament.

But this may not be enough according to the head of the Robert Koch Institute, the German health institute, Lothar Wieller, who invites the population to stay at home: "This is a national emergency, all of Germany is one big outbreak, we must pull the emergency brake ".

And even the Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, today said that the generalized lockdown "cannot be excluded".