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Germany won’t pay unvaccinated workers in quarantine


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A night of vaccinations featuring music was held at Berlin’s Arena Treptow vaccine centre on the 9th of August 2021. John Macdougall/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo


BERLIN (Reuters) – German health authorities are planning new rules under which unvaccinated workers would not receive compensation for lost pay if coronavirus measures forced them to quarantine, according to a draft decision by state health ministries.

The draft document, which was seen by Reuters, showed that the new rules would be effective as soon as Oct. 11.

People who are positive for the virus or those who return from travels to COVID-19-high-risk countries, such as Turkey and Britain, will be affected by these rules.

These travellers must be quarantined for at most five days if they are not vaccinated. Only those who are current or recent vaccinated are allowed to travel.

Critics claim such regulations would make COVID-19 mandatory, as many workers can’t afford to live at home.

Privacy issues are also a concern. Because of the history of Nazi-Communist state surveillance on citizens in Germany, strict laws regulate data privacy. Employers are often not allowed to request information from employees about health concerns.

Jens Spahn, the German Health Minister said that these proposed regulations were not meant to pressure Germans into getting vaccinated. Instead it was fair.

“Why should other people pay someone who chooses to not be vaccinated?” ZDF broadcaster he said.

While vaccinations in Germany are not mandatory, the authorities have made it difficult to avoid them.

From Oct. 11, COVID-19 testing, which are required to dine indoors, won’t be free.

Some German states allow businesses, such as sports venues, to decide whether they will accept people who are negative for COVID-19.

Official figures reveal that 74% of German adults have been fully vaccinated, while 72.3% are in the EU.

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