KARLSRUHE, Germany (Reuters) -Germany’s top court said on Friday it had rejected emergency petitions filed against a targeted vaccine mandate obliging healthcare staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Compulsory vaccination for staff in hospitals and care facilities is due to come into force in Germany on March 15. Numerous people who will be affected had filed the emergency petitions with the constitutional court in Karlsruhe.
Germany’s current coronavirus wave is expected to peak around mid-February, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said last month.
Lauterbach has warned against lifting restrictions fast as this could sow the seeds of a new wave.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday that the fifth wave of the coronavirus driven by the Omicron variant was approaching its peak, allowing a gradual return to normal life. Details of lifting some restrictions will be finalised during a meeting next week between Scholz and leaders of Germany’s 16 states.
“The scientific prognoses show us that the peak of the wave is in sight,” Scholz said in a speech in the Bundesrat upper house of parliament. “This allows us at the meeting between the federal government and states next week to take the first reopening steps and consider more steps for spring.”
(Reporting by Ursula Knapp and Andreas Rinke; Writing by Paul Carrel and Joseph Nasr; Editing by Hans Seidenstuecker and Maria Sheahan)