This is how many Germans are allowed to party together on NYE
Germany is set to introduce new anti-coronavirus restrictions ahead of New Year's Eve festivities, curbing nightlife and limiting private parties for those vaccinated to a maximum of ten people.
The impending curbs were announced by Germany’s new Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, after a meeting with the leaders of the country’s states. The new measures will be rolled out nationwide on December 28.
“This is not the time for parties and cozy evenings with lots of people,” Scholz stated. “I would have liked to share more pleasant news just before the holidays.”
The new restrictions include the closure of nightclubs, as well as banning spectators from large cultural and sporting events. “This applies in particular to football games,” Scholz stressed.
Small-scale private parties are set to be restricted by the authorities as well. Any gatherings of vaccinated people or those who’ve recovered from infection are set to be limited to 10 people. Current restrictions for people who are unvaccinated remain in place as well, with these individuals allowed to meet only their household with a maximum of two other visitors.
The already-implemented anti-coronavirus measures have proven their effectiveness, the Chancellor said, adding that further restrictions were still needed amid the spread of the new Omicron strain.
“It is only a matter of weeks before Omicron is dominant here,” Scholz stressed, insisting that the NYE curbs were required to “prepare Germany for the next corona wave.”
The new strain of coronavirus, first identified in South Africa back in November, has already spread to some 90 countries worldwide. The emergence of Omicron triggered a raft of travel bans and other curbs.
While little is still known about Omicron – such as its transmissibility and capacity to cause severe illness – the new strain is believed to be well-adapted to infect human cells, displaying a high level of mutations compared with earlier Covid variants.
Whether existing vaccines will be effective against it is not yet known either. However, the limited data available suggests they fare significantly poorer against Omicron than earlier strains of the virus.