COVID-19: Germany tightens work restrictions amid infection spike

Since Wednesday, Germany has introduced new legislation on people unvaccinated against COVID-19. From this day, only those vaccinated, convalescent or current negative test holders will have access to their workplace.

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Persons who have not received the vaccine and are unable to work remotely will be required to provide their employer with an up-to-date rapid COVID-19 test, no less recent than 48 hours. According to the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, “it is also possible to carry out the antigen test on site [in a workplace], but under supervision.”

The newly introduced regulations say that unvaccinated people who do not bring a valid coronavirus test or do not agree to undergo it on site will not be allowed to enter the company’s premises. “The employer does not have to pay wages in this case,” Gunnar Roloff, an expert in labor law, pointed out.

“If an employee objects to the presentation of the COVID-19 certificate and does so for a long time, he no longer offers his services under the contract. The employer can therefore terminate the contract without notice,” Stefan Wolf, the head of the Total Metal Employers’ Association, added.

The reason given for the tightening of COVID-19 regulations in Germany is the growing number of new daily infections. On Tuesday, November 23, 45,326 new cases were recorded in the country, while approximately 68 percent of the population are fully vaccinated.