Germany is set to ease COVID-19 restrictions on people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus, the country’s Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) said here on Tuesday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

This is “an important step towards normality,” said Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Christine Lambrecht at a press conference, adding that “we had to restrict basic rights in the coronavirus crisis to protect life and health.”

However, Lambrecht added that “basic rights must be allowed to be exercised again as soon as the justification for restricting those rights no longer exists.”

People vaccinated against or recovered from COVID-19 in Germany would no longer be required to present a negative test result for various activities, such as shopping, visiting the zoo or the hairdresser, according to the BMJV. Contact restrictions and curfews would also no longer apply to these groups of people.

The distancing requirement and the mandatory use of face masks in public spaces will remain in force, also for those fully vaccinated or recovered, the minister stressed.

Lambrecht pointed out that with the new regulation, vaccinated people in Germany had no right to demand the opening of stores or restaurants in areas with high incidence rates. The lifting of restrictions, and also whether and when catering, cultural and leisure facilities can open, will be decided by Bundestag and Bundesrat, respectively the lower and upper houses of Germany’s Parliament, later this week.

The easing could apply as early as this weekend if everything goes as planned, according to Lambrecht.

Prior to the announcement, the state of Bavaria and a number of other states moved ahead by placing fully vaccinated and recovered individuals on par with negatively tested people by Thursday, according to a report from the cabinet meeting.

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