People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer have to abide by curfews and contact restrictions in Germany under a draft law agreed by the cabinet on Tuesday.
The law, which would also apply to people who have recovered from COVID-19, must still be signed off by parliament but could come into force as early as this week, Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said in Berlin.
There must be a “good reason” for any restrictions on public life, Lambrecht said. “As soon as this reason ceases to exist...these restrictions should then no longer be in place,” she said.
Under national measures introduced in April, areas with an incidence rate of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 people over the last seven days must introduce overnight curfews and people may only meet with one other person from another household during the day.
Areas with lower incidence rates are however allowed to open shops, restaurants, cinemas and other facilities to anyone who can provide a negative test.
The new regulation will also put vaccinated people and those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection on a par with those who can provide a negative test, Lambrecht said.
Some German states, including Berlin and Bavaria, have already announced plans to scrap the negative test requirement for vaccinated people when they go shopping or visit the hairdresser.
The Bavarian cabinet on Tuesday also signed off a plan to allow hotels, holiday homes and campsites to open in regions with low incidence rates from May 21.
Germany has been in some form of virus shutdown since November, with numbers of new infections remaining consistently high amid an initially sluggish vaccination campaign.
But the campaign has since picked up pace, with more than a million jabs issued in one day last week, and new infection numbers have started to come down gradually.