The German government could make a decision “by the end of next week” on how to lift Covid-19 restrictions for people who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from an infection, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday.
“This can be done within days,” Spahn told reporters while visiting a new BioNTech vaccine factory in Reinbeck in Germany’s state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Spahn said that preliminary talks with Germany’s lower house of parliament and the upper house of parliament about a proposal on easing restrictions are underway.
“Initial talks are being held – and if we reach a consensus very quickly in the process, then it will certainly be possible to reach a corresponding decision by the end of next week,” he went on to say.
Crucial to this decision would be the willingness of all parties to agree on a proposal. “We as the federal government are ready for this,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, German chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert told reporters that the government wanted to implement an easing of restrictions “with great pressure and great ambition on timing.”
Germany’s Federal Justice Ministry proposed granting exemptions to those who have had their Covid-19 vaccines or recovered from Covid-19, for example on private gatherings and the country’s night-time curfew, which was introduced last Saturday in areas with high infection rates to curb the spread of the virus.
As of Friday, nearly 27% of Germans have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine – and nearly 8% received a second dose of a vaccine, the latest data from the country’s agency for disease control prevention, the Robert Koch Institute shows.
Health minister Jens Spahn on Friday tweeted: ”Over 2 million vaccinations have been administered in the last two days”, adding “there are only four other countries in the whole world that have vaccinated more than a million people a day.”
Spahn also said he was pleased that German vaccine manufacturer BionNTech is seeking approval from the EU’s medical regulator EMA to use the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children and teens aged 12 to 15.