German Foreign Minister Backs Lifting COVID-19 Restriction For Vaccinated People

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th January, 2021) German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview that people inoculated against COVID-19 should be allowed to return to public life.

"Vaccinated people should be able to exercise their basic rights again," Maas said, speaking to German tabloid Bild. "If there are only vaccinated people in a restaurant or a cinema, they can no longer endanger each other."

Maas' position contradicts the government's stance that restriction measures should be lifted or imposed for all citizens equally regardless of vaccination status, arguing against creating social divisions. Maas maintained that such a reality would be temporary in a prospective transition period.

"Yes, it will lead to inequalities in a transitional period, but as long as there is an objective reason, it is constitutionally justifiable," Maas argued.

The diplomat argued that although the science is not yet clear on how whether vaccinated individuals can possibly spread the coronavirus, they are surely not likely to be burdensome on the health care system.

Maas added that such selective easing of measures can also be respite to restaurants and small business owners battered by the pandemic.

Germany's strict lockdown was imposed in mid-December and is set to last through late January. Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to discuss extending the lockdown next week, with the number of new daily cases still in the tens of thousands.

Germany's vaccination campaign is underway in full force as the overall infections have exceeded the two million mark. Over 47,000 COVID-19 deaths have been registered in the country.