Germany will discontinue financing unvaccinated workers placed into isolation after coronavirus exposure, Health Minister Jens Spahn announced on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

According to Reuters, Spahn said it’s unjust to compel taxpayers to subsidize people who refuse to get inoculated.

“It’s about fairness,” Spahn said. “Those who protect themselves and others via a vaccination can rightly ask why we should have to pay somebody who ended up in quarantine after a holiday in a risk area.”

The rule is expected to take effect among 16 federal states of the country by Oct. 11. By that time, COVID-19 tests for indoor dining will also incur a fee.

Those who test positive for the virus or returning from “high risk” nations but are not vaccinated will be declined their quarantine payment. 

For unvaccinated visitors, five-day isolation is compulsory. The rules will not apply to the inoculated or persons who have recovered from a Covid 19 infection that occurred at least 28 days and not more than six months previously.

Reuters noted Britain, Turkey, and parts of France are on Germany’s COVID-19 blacklist among other nations. 

Opponents argued that workers could not afford to stay at home without compensation. Thus such laws would be similar to a compulsion for COVID-19 vaccinations.

It also seems to clash with privacy rights. Learning from the dark days of Nazi and Communist state surveillance of citizens, Germany has strict data privacy rules, and companies rarely can inquire of employees about their health.

Instead of not imposing any vaccine mandate, Germany had been employing multiple tactics to persuade more people to get the jabs. 

According to Berlin.de, areas of the European country had used free sausages, DJ’s, and, as DW reported, even employee bonuses to have people queue up for the jabs.

Likewise, businesses in several states of Germany are free to choose if they would prioritize those having negative test results along with the vaccinated and recently recovered COVID-19 patients or not.

Outside of vaccines, masks are generally compulsory in public places and transportation, implemented to people as young as six years old, per Berlin.de.

Reuters reported that Germany has fully immunized 74% of its adults, compared to 72.3% within the European Union as a whole. The country had authorized four vaccine jabs, including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca. 

According to DW, the country is looking to have coronavirus shots available for children under 12 as soon as the first quarter of 2022.

Worldometers shows the country is seeing a leveling in daily infections from a peak of more than 10,000 cases earlier this month. However, this fall’s wave was less significant than the two previous waves from last year and this April, which topped with more than 30,000 cases a day.

In total, Germany had recorded 4,175,557 COVID-positive cases and lost 93,770 people to the coronavirus.

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