No plans to make Covid jabs mandatory, says No 10

Downing Street says its priority is to ‘promote boosters’ after Germany announced new restrictions for unvaccinated people.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

Downing Street has said the Government has “no plans” to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory, after German leaders backed a move to curb the freedoms of people choosing not to get the jab.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Thursday that Germany would bar unvaccinated people from cultural and recreational venues, as well as non-essential shops, in an effort to tackle a fourth wave of the virus sweeping through the country.

The new rules, which limit certain freedoms to those who have had the jab, or have recently recovered from Covid-19, have been agreed by all 16 German states.

The German parliament will also consider a general vaccine mandate which, if passed, could come into force as soon as February next year.

Austria has already announced that it will make coronavirus vaccinations compulsory from February, while Greece is planning to fine over-60s who refuse to get the jab.

Asked on Friday if vaccines could ever be made mandatory in the UK, a spokesman for the Prime Minister told reporters: “We’ve set out our policy on this and we’ve said it’s not something that we would look to introduce.

“You’re aware of the changes we made in terms of social care settings and for NHS workers, given the importance of protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

“But there’s no plans above and beyond that in that regard.”

As well as barring unvaccinated people from various venues, Germany will limit their social contacts.

On whether there could be separate lockdown measures in the UK for people who have not got the jab, the PM’s spokesman said: “I think you can look back at the restrictions we’ve had previously and the fact that we’ve never introduced something along those lines.

“Our priority is to continue to promote vaccinations and promote boosters, now that we are rolling out more and more boosters to more and more people.

“That is our priority, that’s our focus, and that’s what we’re asking people to come forward and take.”

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