RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With its well-known city of Frankfurt, the seat of the European Central Bank, Hesse has become the first German state to allow businesses to deny unvaccinated people access to even basic necessities, setting a worrying precedent while its neighbors protest mandatory vaccination.
Hessian supermarkets have been given permission to deny unvaccinated people the right to buy food and other everyday goods. The state chancellery confirmed this to the BILD newspaper on Friday (16).
Under the new policy, stores can decide whether to apply the “2G rule,” which means only allowing in vaccinated people who have recovered from Covid, or the so-called “3G rule,” which covers also people who have tested negative for the virus.
Minister-President Volker Bouffier told BILD that he hoped, somewhat strangely, that the new rule would not be implemented across the board, saying, “We hope that this option will only be used for a few days and that everyday businesses will not make use of it.”
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“The greatest protection is offered by vaccination. And yet it is simple, unbureaucratic and free,” he boasted, noting that masking and social distancing requirements will remain in place for companies that do not adopt the stricter 2G rule.
In exchange for accepting vaccinated or recovered individuals, 2G companies can waive the social distancing and masking requirement.
In addition to the new 2G option, hospital staff who are not vaccinated must undergo Covid 19 testing twice a week, and students must continue to wear the mask when sitting in class.
While at least eight other states have opened the 2G option to certain businesses such as bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and brothels, Hesse is the first state to allow the rule in grocery stores and other retail outlets.
Other European countries, such as Italy and France, have enacted strict vaccination laws that prohibit unvaccinated people from working (Italy) or eating in cafes (France), but most state leaders have resisted directly imposing vaccinations on their citizens; however, concern about vaccination cards, has brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to protest.
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