Public/Global Health

German officials tussle over lifting COVID-19 state of emergency

Bavarian Minister Markus Söder said Thursday that Germany should keep its COVID-19 state of emergency as new virus cases rise again, Reuters reported. 

During an appearance on a local radio station, Söder said that if Germany's state of emergency ends there will be no legal basis for COVID-19 mandates. 

Söder the leader of one of Germany's small parties of its conservative bloc that will remain in place until a new coalition is formed and sworn in as part of last month's elections, according to Reuters. 

"If this state is ended, then there is de facto no legal basis anymore for anything, whether that be testing in schools or masks," Söder told the station

Söder also said citizens would be responsible for their own safety without COVID-19 protocols in place, Reuters reported. 

Germany's federal health minister Jens Spahn said last month the current state of emergency could end Nov. 25 due to the progress of the vaccine program. 

The COVID-19 restrictions in the state will expire automatically unless extended by a parliamentary vote. 

About 65 percent of German citizens are fully vaccinated against the virus, compared to 37 percent of people worldwide, Reuters noted.