Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Tuesday that new measures will be taken to stop the spread of coronavirus. These include limiting the number of people who can gather for private purposes before the New Year, to 10 maximum.

To slow down the Omicron-related spread, the country closed all nightclubs in the country and prohibited spectators at major football matches starting on December 28.    

Scholz, after meeting with Germany’s regional leaders, stated: “This is not the right time to party and have cosy evenings with lots people. 

“We must keep our eyes open for the next wave. Corona won’t be taking a Christmas holiday,’ he added, noting that only weeks later, the Omicron version would become dominant in Germany.

These new restrictions are Scholz’s first major decision since his election to the presidency.  

Scholz said that although the first steps were effective in encouraging people to get vaccined, Scholz stated to reporters that a fifth wave was threatening Germany due to the Omicron variant. 

Germany will introduce new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus including limiting private gatherings for vaccinated people to a maximum of 10 people before New Year's Eve, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday

Germany is introducing new measures to reduce the spread and severity of the coronavirus, including the restriction of private gatherings of vaccinated individuals to no more than 10 persons before New Years Eve. Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated Tuesday.

People shop from the stores at Kurfurstendamm Avenue by showing their Covid passes in Berlin on Tuesday

Shoppers shop at Kurfurstendamm Avenue when they show their Covid cards in Berlin on Tuesday 

Although the steps already introduced, aimed mainly at encouraging people to get vaccinated, were having an effect, a fifth wave threatened Germany, especially due to the omicron variant, Scholz told reporters

Scholz explained to reporters that while the previous steps, which were primarily designed to encourage people to get vaccinated had been effective, Scholz warned that there was still a fifth wave of threats to Germany. This was due in part to the omicron variant.

Scholz said, “It will only be a matterof weeks before omicron becomes dominant here.”

The restrictions, agreed on by Scholz and the premiers of Germany’s 16 federal states, came just hours after the country’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases urged Limitations on contact must be in place from mid-January to the end.  

The experts also suggested that travel should be limited to the absolutely essential. 

Hamburg has already taken steps to place such restrictions, starting Christmas Eve. Private meetings will now be limited to 10 people, and dancing events will also be prohibited. Restaurants and bars must close by 11 pm. Except on New Year’s Eve when bars and restaurants can remain open until 11 pm

Restrictions already in place are targeted primarily at the unvaccinated. Proof of recovery or vaccination is required for entry to non-essential restaurants and stores. The sale of New Year’s fireworks was also banned in the country.  

Authorities are working hard to boost a vaccination campaign. Over the past week there have been an average of approximately a million doses per day. This is the highest rate of pandemic activity so far.    

However, they are not satisfied with the percentage of those who have received vaccines in their first dose. 70.4 Percent of this population has had to receive a second round. That is less than the required 75 percent that the government wanted. So far, 32.6% have received boosters.

Experts have warned that hospitals could face a double-whammy of a wave of seriously ill patients and massive staff shortages due to breakthrough infections among doctors and nurses

Experts warned hospitals that they could experience a double-whammy: a surge in seriously ill patients as well as massive staff shortages caused by breakthrough infections of doctors and nurses.

The infection rate in Germany is slowly falling, at least for the moment. The disease control center reported 306.4 cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days. This is down from the 375 recorded a week ago. There were 23,428 new cases over the 24 hours.

Karl Lauterbach, the Health Minister, has said that Germany is facing a’massive fifth wave’ due to omicron. He says it can’t be stopped realistically. He said that there will not be any lockdown until Christmas.

Experts warn that Omicron could disrupt emergency services, as well as water and electricity supplies. Double-whammy could befall hospitals due to a surge in seriously ill patients as well as massive staff shortages caused by breakthrough infections in doctors and nurses.

Scholz will again meet with state premiers on January 7, to discuss COVID-19.

Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control said Monday that anyone who has had their first dose of vaccine is at a “high” risk. It’s not possible to get a booster if they have already received the vaccine. According to it, the danger is very high for those who have not been vaccinated.  

It also emerged today that Germany’s STIKO vaccine authority shortened the recommended period between a second coronavirus shot and a booster to three months from six, reflecting the increasing presence of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

According to the authority, anyone older than 18 years old should receive a booster with an mRNA vaccine within three months of completing a COVID-19 course.

STIKO had previously advised that people who have been fully vaccinated against mRNA should wait for six months. For the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, that period remains four weeks.

STIKO recommended that any person over 12 years old who has been infected by the coronavirus receive a shot within three months of their recovery. The previous recommendation was for six months.

According to the committee, booster shots should be given first to people who are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions. 

Even though data are limited, half-a dozen laboratory studies showed that Omicron can be stopped by a course of COVID-19 vaccinations. A booster, however, may prove beneficial.