Angela Merkel
© POOL/AFP via Getty Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announcing the measures.
Germany announced a de-facto lockdown for the unvaccinated on Thursday, which will bar them from most businesses and venues except grocery shops and pharmacies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the measures were necessary in order to curb coronavirus infections that again topped 70,000 newly confirmed cases in a 24-hour period.
"The situation in our country is serious," Mrs Merkel told reporters in Berlin, calling the measure an "act of national solidarity".
The general vaccine mandate could come into force as early as February if approved by lawmakers.

Those who have proof of recent Covid recovery will not be affected by the measures, local media reports.


Officials also agreed to mandate masks in schools, impose fresh limits on private gatherings and to aim for 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year.

About 68 per cent of the German population is fully vaccinated - below the minimum of 75 per cent the government is aiming for.

Olaf Scholz, who is set to take over as Chancellor next week, said Tuesday that he backs a general vaccine mandate, but that lawmakers should be allowed a free vote rather than voting on party lines.

Under the strict new national measures, those who are not jabbed or recovered will be banned from nonessential shops, cultural venues and recreational venues.

The unvaccinated will only be able to meet two people from another household.

Versions of the restrictions were already in force in several German regions.

Nightclubs will also be required to close in areas of high infection rates, said officials on Thursday. In such cases, indoor events will also be limited to 50 people, according to reports.

The latest restrictions in Germany comes after neighbour Austria previously plunged two million of its unvaccinated citizens into a lockdown last month.

Tackling the latest Covid wave will be a key challenge for the incoming three-way 'traffic light' coalition government, which is set to take office next week.