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‘Do not travel’ advisory given for Germany amid COVID surge
November 23, 2021
Americans have been warned not to travel to Germany as it undergoes its worst-ever surge in COVID-19 infections — one that will leave everyone “vaccinated, cured or dead” by winter, its health minister predicted.
On the same day, German Health Minister Jens Spahn gave a dire prediction as the EU’s most populous nation was devastated by its 15th consecutive day of record numbers.
“Probably by the end of this winter … pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, cured or dead,” Spahn told reporters in Berlin.
“It’s true. With the highly contagious Delta variant this is very, very likely, and that’s why we are recommending vaccination so urgently,” Spahn said.
Official figures Monday showed more than 30,000 newly confirmed cases in Germany over the past 24 hours — an increase of about 50% compared to one week ago. The country this week is expected to pass 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago.
Hospitals warn that ICU capacities are nearly exhausted, with some patients having to be transferred to clinics in other parts of Germany. Around 68 percent of the population is fully jabbed.
“We are in a highly dramatic situation,” outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel warned her party at a meeting.
“What is in place now is not sufficient,” she said, according to two participants.
With intensive care beds swiftly filling up, Germany’s worst-hit regions have ordered new shutdowns, including the closure of Christmas markets.
The restrictions mirror those in neighboring Austria, which closed shops, restaurants and festive markets on Monday, the most drastic restrictions seen in Western Europe for months. Its 8.9 million people are allowed to leave home only to go to work, shop for essentials or exercise.
Amid the dire warnings, other parts of Europe have been rocked by violent protests and riots decrying mandates and lockdowns.
Dozens were arrested in the Netherlands over unrest that began in Rotterdam on Friday, which Prime Minister Mark Rutte labeled “pure violence” by “idiots.”
Belgian police fired water cannon and tear gas at protesters on Sunday, which its leader, Alexander De Croo, called “absolutely unacceptable.”
A crowd of 40,000 marched through Vienna on Saturday decrying Austria’s so-called “dictatorship.”