German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has called on the European Union to shorten the validity of the refund certificate even further – and leave European citizens to move around the bloc from six months or 180 days to 90 days citing the risks of re-infection with the Omicron variant.
The statement came on the heels of a recommendation from the European Union, according to which the validity of the redemption certificate was reduced from 270 to 180 days, TheSchengen.com reports.
“After three months, a person who has already infected with the delta variant can be reinfected with omicron. What we were able to change in Germany, we also tried to change in Europe,” Lauterbach said in a recent interview.
Studies associate a high rate of omicron transmission with the ability to reduce immunity acquired through vaccination or previous infection. This variant has become the dominant strain of COVID-19, which has affected more than nine million Germans since 2020. More specifically, World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that the number of positive cases in Germany reached 848,945 last week, and 1,045 people . He died of complications caused by the virus.
>> All you need to know about the new validity rules for COVID-19 vaccination passports for travel in the EU
On the other hand, in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, European Union member states, including Germany, have urged citizens to get vaccinated, and so far, 73.4 percent of the population in Germany has been fully vaccinated – about 3.4 percent more than the average The vaccination rate in the EU/EEA countries is 7.8 lower than the vaccination rates of its neighboring country, Denmark which is the second most vaccinated country in the European Union.
In addition, more than half of Germany’s population received a booster dose – accounting for 42 million people.
Several EU member states recently adopted the EU recommendation to shorten the validity of the vaccination certificate to 270 days, including Spain, Bulgaria and Switzerland.
Based on the recommendation, the new rules specify that people can travel to the EU freely if the basic vaccination was given 14 days earlier and is valid for up to 270 days. The refund certificate is valid for 180 days since the release of the first positive test result, while the validity of the test results depends on the type of test. For example, a PCR test result is valid for 72 hours, while a rapid antigen test user can be allowed in for 24 hours.
However, the decision to reduce vaccination and the validity of the certificate was not welcomed by European citizens, especially Germans. If Lauterbach’s call is answered, the certificates of restitution of millions of Germans will expire overnight.