Brussels (Brussels Morning) The German parliament passed a set of new rules on Thursday that will grant special exemptions from some pandemic restrictions to citizens who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or who have fully recovered from infection, Deutsche Welle reported.
Once signed into power, most likely on Saturday after it passes the Bundesrat, the upper house, current curfews and contact restrictions in force in Germany would no longer apply to people who are believed to be fully immune to the coronavirus, that is those who have been fully vaccinated, or those that have recovered from the illness.
Such individuals would not be subject to contact limits in meeting with other people. They would be treated the same as people with a recent negative COVID-19 test when performing other daily tasks like shopping or going to a hairdresser. However, they would still be required to wear masks, to maintain social distancing, and they would be unable to visit restaurants and hotels, which remain closed in most German federal states.
The exemptions apply solely to those who can prove that they took their final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days prior, and those with a PCR test proving that they have recovered from COVID-19. In the case of the latter, the exemption applies 28 days after recovery, and lasts for six months.
The law passed through the Bundestag with the support of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The German Greens, who currently lead in the federal polls, also backed the proposal, as did the far-left The Left.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) rejected the bill, while the centrist-liberal FDP abstained from the vote. The liberals maintained the law did not go far enough. FDP demanded that the exemption privileges include hotels, restaurants and fitness studios, as a prelude to eventually enabling them to open for those deemed not at risk of spreading the infection.