Germany's capital, Berlin, joined several German states Monday in limiting access to restaurants, cinemas, museums and concert venues to only people who have been vaccinated or recently recovered, as new COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
The country's infectious disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, reported Monday that the country's number of new cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days climbed to 303, the first time the rate climbed over 300 since the pandemic began. The record comes just one week since an unprecedented jump to over 200 new cases per 100,000 residents.
Only 67.5% of the German population is fully vaccinated. The highly contagious delta variant has run rampant through the unvaccinated population as the temperature drops and people stay indoors.
The German parliament is scheduled to vote Thursday on a new legal framework for COVID-19 restrictions drawn up by the three parties expected to make up the nation's next ruling coalition — the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Free Democrats. The plans are reportedly being strengthened to allow for more strict contact restrictions than originally planned.
The coalition, which hopes to finalize its formation and take office early next month, is also expected to introduce a vaccine mandate in some areas, a step that officials have so far resisted.
Reports say the new laws will give Germany's 16 states a series of options they can apply individually, given that the infection rate varies greatly across the country. Higher rates have been detected in regions with the lowest vaccination rates, namely eastern and southern Germany.