Germany could classify Britain as a “virus variant area” with restrictions on travel today, even though the country’s health minister has warned of a fifth wave.

German officials are expected to decide within hours. This could lead to all British travellers being placed in quarantine for up to two weeks even though they have been vaccinated. 

Germany has implemented its own health restrictions after Omicron’s high number of cases. It bans unvaccinated persons from eating in restaurants and any other commerce that is not essential. 

Karl Lauterbach, the health minister, said today that the variant would cause a large wave of infection regardless of new restrictions. He also stated that even though the strain may be milder, there might still be a difference.

He said: ‘We must prepare for a challenge that we have not yet had in this form.’

Germany's health minister Karl Lauterbach (pictured) has warned the country is facing a 'massive fifth wave' of Covid

Germany’s minister of health Karl Lauterbach (pictured above) warned his country that there is a fifth major wave of Covid.

The minister suggested that, if the virus was less dangerous than others, this could ‘keep death rates low for up to two or three weeks before it would grow,’ adding that this period of difficulty ahead was “inevitable”. 

Although the case numbers have decreased slightly in Germany since the restrictions were implemented, the Omicron variant which is more dangerous and has been identified in South Africa threatens to increase the number of cases.

All over the globe, governments are trying to accelerate booster vaccination campaigns in order to protect individuals from the deadly virus. 

But Germany remains short of millions of doses, as the country says it is going cap in hand to other nations, including Romania and Poland, for more shots.

Lauterbach indicated that now the country was racing for more vaccines, in an effort to boost its booster program which is at the core of its strategy against this highly contagious variant.

Three experts spoke on German TV, echoing this sentiment, and saying that there is no stopping the Omicron tsunami from sweeping Europe. 

Lauterbach stated that Germany would receive only 1.2 Million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine next week. These will be distributed to doctors’ offices and vaccination centres. 

He said that another 800,000.00 would be delivered the next week and another 1.2million the week following. In the first quarter next year, the country hoped to be able to get millions of booster shots that are adapted for the omicron version from Biontech/Pfizer.

“But it is far less that the amounts which doctors ask for every week,” he stated in the grim warning. He also said Germany was approaching the end its reserves.

He said, “The campaign needs to roll…but there literally is no more there.” 

Lauterbach stated that German authorities are in negotiations with Romania, Bulgaria and Poland to secure a ’emergency purchase back’ of thousands of doses left over from Eastern European countries.  

Sandra Ciesek is a well-known virologist who warned Omicron it was unstoppable. The country’s preparation was like ‘running into disaster with all our eyes open’, according to Sandra Ciesek.

According to her, most of the research about the variants has been done in South Africa. This is where the strain was initially discovered. Omicron appears to have a higher transmissibility than Delta.

But Ciesek, from the University Hospital Frankfurt, said this should not be taken for granted in Germany. She stated that there are not yet any systematic data on Germany and did not know the severity of diseases. 

The press conference was attended by Dirk Brockmann (virologist) and Christoph Neumann/Haefelin. The virologist spoke alongside Dirk Brockmann and Christoph Neumann-Haefelin at a press conference, comparing the rapid spread of this variant to the initial wave.

Brockmann, who is the head of Epidemiological Modeling of Infectious Diseases (Robert Koch Institute), stated that Omicron cannot be stopped at this point.

A dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is administered at the child vaccination centre in the Natural History Museum as Covid-19 vaccinations for children between the ages of five and eleven began today in Berlin, on December 15, 2021 in Berlin, Germany

One dose of Covid-19 is given at the Natural History Museum’s child vaccination station. Covid-19 vaccinations are available for children between five and 11 years old. They began in Berlin today, December 15, 2021.

Pictured: People wait in line to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 during a vaccination drive inside 16th-century Sankt Nikolaikirche church on December 14, 2021 in Bad Wilsneck, Germany

Pictured: A line forms to get the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine during a vaccination drive at Bad Wilsneck’s Sankt Nikolaikirche 16th-century church.

Before becoming the health minister this month, epidemiologist Lauterbach was the health spokesman for the Social Democrat party, which is now the largest part in Germany’s ruling coalition after ousting Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

He was also a highly-respected commentator about the pandemic.

According to reports, the health ministry said it would spend approximately 2.2 billion euro on 80 million Pfizer tablets through EU procurement channels. 

The company also stated that it is looking for 12 million more doses to “start the New Year in a responsible manner.” 

The current Covid case in Germany is 90% made up of the Delta variant. 

Lothar Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute of Infectious Diseases said that although there are only about 100 Omicron cases currently in Germany, the strain will soon become the most common.

The European Commission announced that it had reached an agreement to expedite deliveries of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine from the United States to Germany and the other European Union members. This is in response to increased cases due to Omicron.