Germany had its first reported cases of Covid-19 in January of 2020 near Munich, and has been in and out of regional lockdowns ever since. The country is currently in its third wave of the virus.
Varying levels of restrictions have been imposed on a region-to-region basis depending on the severity of the virus. Currently, Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for unified Covid-19 restrictions nationwide, which would see an “emergency brake” in order to try and control the spread of the virus.
Since we recorded this interview, 7.3% of Germany’s population of 83 million have been fully vaccinated with just under 26 million doses given in total. This is due to the accelerated rollout of vaccines. From next month, it is hoped that GPs will be able to administer their preferred vaccine, with the federal government providing family doctors with the choice of vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
Europe has seen a rise in anti-lockdown protests from Paris to London and even closer to home, as Dublin saw violent protests in late February. Germany too has seen this rise in protests over Covid restrictions with regular demonstrations taking place across the country.
The most recent protests planned for Dresden in Saxony were banned by the Saxony Higher Administrative Court.
The banning of these protests is significant especially in the state of Saxony where the highest mortality numbers in Germany have been recorded. One of the main reasons for this is that the region has an ageing population and a large number of retirement homes that have been devastated throughout the pandemic.
Another factor is its proximity to the Czech border, with many crossing it for work. The Czech Republic has been one of the worst hit countries worldwide. Saxony has been fighting an uphill battle from the start.