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Germany's national and regional leaders have agreed to bar unvaccinated people from much of public life in a bid to fend off a fourth wave of COVID-19. Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel described the far-reaching measures as an act of "national solidarity". Vaccinations could be made mandatory by February, the chancellor added.

Germany's fourth wave of COVID is its most severe so far, with another 388 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours. There is also growing concern about the spread of the Omicron variant, which EU health officials warn is likely to cause over half of all COVID cases in the next few months.

As per new COVID measures, only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID will be allowed in restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops.

The 2G rule will be enforced at restaurants and cultural venues and non-essential shops. 2G rule stands for genesen (recovered in the past six months) or geimpft (vaccinated). Up to 30 million vaccinations will be carried out by Christmas - first, second or boosters. Outdoor events, including Bundesliga football, will have limited crowds of 15,000 and 2G rules. Fireworks on New Year's Eve will be banned.




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