- Germany is preparing a draft new law to extend coronavirus measures into the next year.
- New law will contain harsh penalties for anyone caught forging so-called ‘vaccine passports’.
- Germany’s current Infection Protection Act expires on November 25, so the new law will likely be introduced and voted on before that date.
Germany’s current Infection Protection Act expires on November 25, and the country’s legislators are reportedly preparing a new law to extend anti-COVID-19 measures into 2022.
Political leaders from Germany’s likely coalition government have drafted a new law extending the country’s coronavirus measures into the next year and have proposed harsh penalties, including prison time, for anyone forging COVID-19 vaccination certificates, commonly referred to as ‘vaccine passports‘.
The new law the law will contain hefty monetary fines and/or up to two years’ imprisonment for people caught forging vaccination certificates.
The new law will likely be introduced and voted on before November 25 – the date current country’s COVID-19 law is set to expire.
Germany‘s outgoing Health Minister Jens Spahn warned of a “fourth wave” of COVID-19 infections heading into winter, and said that the current spike in case numbers — which reached their highest weekly level on Monday since the outset of the pandemic — were being driven by the unvaccinated.
Negotiating the new law has since occupied members of the left-wing SDP, the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens, who have been locked into talks aimed at forming a coalition government since September’s federal elections.
Germany operates a two-tier system of vaccine certification to enter most public spaces. Vaccinated people and those with natural immunity through previous infection are granted the most liberty, while those who can prove a negative test are subject to stiffer restrictions, and are required in some states to stay masked indoors.
In certain German states, businesses can deny entry to the unvaccinated, even those with negative tests.
Police have struggled to crack down on the trade in forged certificates since the passes were introduced in June, and set up a special team to stamp out the forgeries.
The EU’s system of digital certification — under which individual certificates are scanned and matched against private keys held by hospitals and healthcare institutions — makes forgery more difficult, but not impossible.