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COVID: Germany to limit private gatherings — draft document

Wesley Dockery
December 20, 2021

The German government is expected to only allow a maximum of 10 people to take part in private gatherings, with the rules also applying to vaccinated people. Night clubs and discos are also expected to be shut down.

A sign listing "2G+" plus restrictions, meaning vaccinated people will need a test to enter, or a booster shot
Unvaccinated people are already barred from much of public life in GermanyImage: Antonio Pisacreta/ROPI/picture alliance

Germany is expected to introduce new COVID restrictions during a meeting between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and state leaders on Tuesday, according to a draft agreement seen by DW. If passed, the new curbs are expected to begin on December 28.

Scholz, who was in Rome on Monday for his inaugural visit as chancellor, said he was hoping to "establish a consensual approach" during Tuesday's meeting. "That is important, especially now at this time and at this moment."

What types of measures will be announced?

The government is expected to limit inside and outside public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people, with the restrictions also applying to people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Children aged 14 and younger would be exempt from the rules. 

Stricter restrictions would apply if an unvaccinated person takes part in the gathering, with people from one household limited to meeting with a maximum of just two people from another household under the proposed rules. 

The German government and states are also expected to close down night clubs.

Berliners 'don't fear another lockdown'

The number of people allowed to attend indoor and outdoor sporting and cultural events would be limited to between 30% and 50% capacity. States with high rates of infection would be required to cancel large events, or hold them without spectators. 

Under the draft announcement, companies and organizations negatively impacted by the restrictions will have access to financial aid.

The German government continues to urge increased vaccinations, not only for those who need a booster but also for people who haven't received their first shot. 

"The vaccination campaign will continue throughout Christmas, the days between Christmas and New Year, and on New Year's Eve itself," the document said. Vaccination centers will remain open throughout this period, despite the holidays.

Lauterbach warns of 'massive' fifth COVID wave

'2G' rule will remain in place 

The draft document also said entry to public venues such as restaurants and cinemas will remain limited to those who are vaccinated or recovered, known in Germany as the "2G" rule.

Over the weekend,Health Minister Karl Lauterbach ruled out the idea of a lockdown for Germany prior to Christmas. At the same time, he has warned that the country will face a "massive wave" due to the omicron variant of the virus. 

Germany has registered 16,086 new coronavirus cases and 119 deaths over the past 24 hours, according to the latest numbers available from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. 

Edited by: Alistair Walsh