Germany starts checking COVID documents on public transport

German inspectors will begin to request certificates of vaccination, proof of COVID-19 recovery, or negative public transport tests on Wednesday as the country tries to mitigate the surge of coronavirus that is sweeping Europe.

The conductor on the Deutsche Bahn train will randomly check the documents and call the Federal Police when encountering a passenger who is unable to present the verification and refuses to get off the train at the next stop.

Violators may face fines under the “3G rules”, which stand for “geimpft” (vaccinated), “genesen” (recovered), and “getestet” (tested). Children under 6 years old are not subject to this rule.

In response to the sharp increase in cases in Germany, the parliament approved “tough” measures. The country saw a record 66,884 cases on Tuesday, and an average of more than 53,000 infections were reported per day, compared with less than 1,000 cases per day in early July.

There are approximately 83 million COVID-19 deaths in the country close to 100,000.

Officials say the situation is particularly severe in eastern states such as Saxony, where vaccination rates are lower than the national average. This situation forced the closure of popular Christmas markets.

Neighboring Austria has gone further in its efforts to contain the surge. It is implementing a 10-day lockdown and said that Austrians who refuse to be vaccinated from February 1st will be fined, making it the first Western country to propose such severe measures.

The Biden administration said on Monday that it has no plans to restore economic restrictions and will rely on vaccines and therapies and tools such as masking and testing to stop COVID-19.



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