Germany to End Quarantine Pay for Unvaccinated Workers

Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced on Wednesday that the country will stop paying compensation to unvaccinated workers who are forced to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure.

The government had been paying workers who are sent into quarantine for at least five days after having contact with an infected person or returning from a “high risk” area abroad.

The new rules will affect people who test positive for the virus and those returning from trips to countries designated “high risk” for COVID-19.

Critics have denounced such measures as essentially equivalent to a vaccine mandate because many workers cannot afford to stay at home without pay. Some detractors also said that the new rule could result in people not quarantining because they would rather earn money.

“Some people will say this means pressure for the unvaccinated. I think we have to look at it the other way around – it is also a question of fairness,” argued Spahn.

Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek said exceptions would be made for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and compensation will still be available for people “for whom no public vaccination recommendation has yet been given.”

Germany has fully vaccinated 63.4% of its population but it wanted to achieve a vaccination rate of 75% to prevent a sharp rise in cases during the winter months.

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