German companies must offer weekly virus tests: Cabinet

Customers wait for the opening of a branch of the German discounter 'Aldi' in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, March 6, 2021. From Saturday the discounter offers new coronavirus, COVID-19, quick tests for sale.

The German government says companies will need to offer all employees who aren’t working from home at least one coronavirus test each week.

The requirement approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday is part of the government’s efforts to drive down persistently high rates of infection in recent weeks.

The government also wants parliament to pass a bill that would shift more powers to set pandemic restrictions in regions with high numbers of cases from state to federal authorities.

Germany’s disease control agency reported 10,810 new confirmed cases in 24 hours and 294 more deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Germany has registered more than 3 million confirmed cases and 78,746 virus-related deaths.

The country’s sluggish vaccine program picked up last week, with the start of shots in doctors’ offices. Last week, some 3.2 million doses were administered in Germany, compared with 1.9 million the previous week.

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