Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced that the government will scrap compensation for unvaccinated workers who have to isolate after testing positive for Covid or returning from ‘high risk’ nations.

The new mandate will be imposed by Germany’s regional governments in all 16 federal states from October 11, at the latest, according to the minister, who said on Wednesday that it would be unfair to continue to ask taxpayers to subsidize people who refuse to get vaccinated.

The government’s rule will impact those who have not been inoculated and test positive for Covid or have returned to Germany from a country deemed to be ‘high-risk’, including the UK, Turkey and parts of France. As it stands, all non-jabbed arrivals from those nations have to quarantine for at least five days, while vaccinated people do not have to isolate.

Dismissing suggestions that removing quarantine pay amounts to a Covid vaccine mandate, as workers can’t afford to lose out on their salary, Spahn declared that the government “see this differently,” and questioned “why [taxpayers] should have to pay somebody who ended up in quarantine after a holiday in a risk area.”

Covid vaccines are not currently compulsory in Germany, but the government has implemented measures that make life more challenging for unvaccinated citizens, including ending free coronavirus tests from October 11.

According to the latest WHO figures, Germany has fully vaccinated 74% of its adult citizens, and has registered 4.15 million confirmed Covid infections and 93,052 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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