The German government and the leaders of its 16 federal states have imposed a lockdown on unvaccinated residents. These measures came in as 6,000 intensive care unit beds are expected to be occupied in the country by Christmas.
The new lockdown measures mean that unvaccinated people will only be able to meet with two people outside their household at once, are banned from non-essential shops and bars. On Wednesday, December 1, the country reported 72,018 new cases of COVID-19 and 415 people dying of the virus, the highest daily figure in the country since February.
The outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that Germany might make vaccination compulsory from February at the latest if the move is approved by parliament. This will try to increase the number of vaccinated people. Currently, only 68.4 percent of the German population is fully immunized against the virus.
"The situation is very serious," Merkel said during a news conference with her expected successor Olaf Scholz. "The number of infections has stabilized, but on a far too high a level."
The country hopes to administer 30 million more jabs by Christmas in the hope to contain this fourth wave as much as possible.