Merkel aide says unvaccinated may face restrictions in Germany

A top aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany may place COVID-19 restrictions on those who are unvaccinated, as the number of infections has increased in recent days.

Helge Braun, Merkel’s chief of staff, told a newspaper that limitations for unvaccinated individuals is a possibility because “the residual risk is too high.”

The restrictions could be implemented at restaurants, cinemas and stadiums.

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“This could mean some things such as restaurant, cinema and stadium visits would not be possible for tested unvaccinated people because the residual risk is too high,” Braun told the newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, according to Reuters.

He did, however, say that a full coronavirus-related lockdown in Germany is unlikely, The Associated Press noted.

The comments from Braun come as COVID-19 infections in Germany begin to rise after more than two months of decline, Reuters reported. The highly infectious Delta variant is driving the increase in cases.

The chief of staff told the newspaper that infections are rising by 60 percent each week, even though almost half of the population is fully inoculated. More than 60 percent of the population in Germany has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while over 49 percent are fully vaccinated, the AP reported.

The United States is also grappling with how to contain the pandemic amid the increase in COVID-19 infections, particularly among unvaccinated populations, as the Delta variant becomes more widespread.

Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Alrtia — Booster shots get bipartisan rollout Biden gets vaccine booster shot, calls it 'safe and effective' Biden to receive booster shot today MORE, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, earlier this month said COVID-19 is “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”