Existing laws make it a legal requirement for military personnel to receive jabs for diseases such as whooping cough and tetanus and defence chiefs plan to add coronavirus to the list.The ruling was upheld last December by a court in Leipzig which judged penalties against servicemen and women who refused to be vaccinated to be lawful.
Germany is still battling to control the spread of coronavirus
The number of confirmed cases increased by 9,557 to 2,492,079 today, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
The country’s death toll rose by 300 to reach a total of 71,804.
German business leaders have expressed their dismay after Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders agreed a gradual easing of coronavirus curbs but warned an “emergency brake” would be used to reimpose restrictions if case numbers veered out of control.
Under a five-stage plan, up to five people from two households will be allowed to meet from March 8, with children under 14 exempt.
Some shops, including book stores and garden centres, can reopen.
Other retailers can only reopen in regions where case numbers are below 50 cases per 100,000 people over seven days.
If the incidence rises above 50, “click and meet” restrictions kick in, whereby customers book a slot to go to the store.
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Siegfried Russwurm, president of the powerful BDI industry association, criticised the plan as insufficient and called on the government to speed up its efforts to expand vaccination and rapid testing.
Ms Merkel’s chief of staff Helge Braun defended the decision to ease curbs only gradually, saying the emergency brake for regions with incidence rates above 100 was needed to avoid a third wave of infections.
She said: “That’s very important because the opening steps come at a time when the numbers are slightly going up again and the British mutant is becoming the most common virus type in our country.
“So we have to remain cautious.”
Mr Wollseifer said: “In order to prevent the death of businesses on a broad front, economic life must be made possible again as quickly as possible.
“The decisions taken now do not do justice to this.”
He called for other criteria had to be taken more into account instead of just focusing on the level of infections, such as the situation in intensive care units in hospitals as well as progress in testing and vaccination.
(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)