Germany is considering relaxing lockdown restrictions for citizens who have received the coronavirus vaccine.
After a slow and much-criticised start, Germany is now taking big steps towards a vaccinated future. 7.5% (approx. 6 million) of all Germans are fully-vaccinated, another 24% (approx. 19.5 million) have received the first dose.
Germany is currently vaccinating an average of 3.5 million people a week, a few more than the UK’s current weekly average of 3.46 million people a week.
A recent study from the Institute for Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Research has calculated that, if the current pace continues, all adults willing to be vaccinated in Germany could be fully-vaccinated by the end of July. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that all adults will be eligible to have the vaccine by June.
Life after the vaccine
A few countries have already offered vaccinated residents more freedoms compared to those not vaccinated. In Greece, for example, fully-vaccinated individuals are treated the same as people with a negative test result; they do not need to quarantine when entering the country and are able to enter shops, restaurants, and other public facilities without a negative test.
What do Germans say – more freedoms for fully-vaccinated individuals?
Linn Raspe, a 23-year-old marketing trainee from Hamburg, has already received both of her COVID-19 vaccines. She believes that those who are vaccinated should not receive any benefits until all those who want the vaccine have had the chance to be vaccinated.
It would be unfair and create a two-class society. After that, vaccinated people should be given back all the freedoms of normal everyday life, i.e. restaurants, cafés, etc. And above all, when travelling, you should be able to show that you have been vaccinated and can therefore enter the country without quarantine.”
Electrician Emmi Bauer from Stuttgart agrees with Miss Raspe. Miss Bauer commented that while she would love to have more freedoms, she believes that, until everyone has had the chance to receive a vaccine, including younger generations, there should be no special treatment for vaccinated people.
In contrary to these two opinions, final year student Nika Geiger is for a relaxation of COVID-19 rules for fully-vaccinated people. Even though Miss Geiger has not received her first dose yet, she thinks it is a good idea to give back freedoms.
I understand the backlash about how everyone should be treated the same, but I feel like business especially gastronomies and events could really benefit from it. In addition, it might encourage people/get them excited to get vaccinated. I’m definitely way more impatient now that they’re talking about this – I think it’ll make the transition to normal life easier.”
A doctor, who requested to stay anonymous, believes that there is a strong need for the population to get vaccinated, and that once they are, all fully-vaccinated people should receive back their “normal life.”
“Medically, there is no explanation for keeping vaccinated people constrained.”
It may take a few more weeks until Germany officially announces any relaxation of the current COVID-19 rules for fully-vaccinated individuals. The EU Commission has now presented a draft for the digital vaccination passport and expects it to be available to all EU countries by June at the latest.