Five years in German prison for fake COVID-19 certificates
- COVID-19 numbers in Berlin hit an all-time high last Thursday, with 2,874 new cases reported that day.
- The German Parliament will decide on the new anti-COVID-19 regulations this Thursday.
- Starting Monday, having either a COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate is a must to enter restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums, galleries, swimming pools, gyms, as well as hairdressers and beauty salons in Berlin.
The Bundestag (German Parliament) is set decide on the new drastic anti-COVID-19 regulations tomorrow, though a draft has already been leaked to the media.
As Germany’s likely future coalition government is looking to tighten the screws on the pandemic, people manufacturing and knowingly using counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination certificates could soon face up to five years behind bars.
Fake COVID-19 test results and coronavirus recovery certificates will fall under the same crime category, with similar penalties for the counterfeiters and the holders.
Everything envisaged in the new regulations was drafted by the Social Democrats, along with the Free Democratic and Green Parties. The three parties are currently in coalition talks and expected to form a new German government as early as next week.
The manufacturing and sale of fake COVID-19 certificates has become a booming black-market industry in Germany. In just one such case reported by Der Spiegel in late October, a counterfeiter working at a pharmacy in Munich and her accomplice had produced over 500 fake digital certificates in the span of one month, raking in €350 for each one sold.
Meanwhile, Berlin city authorities are planning to further ramp up restrictions in the German capital, where, starting Monday, having either a vaccination or recovery certificate is a must to enter restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums, galleries, swimming pools, gyms, as well as hairdressers and beauty salons.
On Tuesday, Berlin Mayor Michael Müller confirmed that the city authorities want to “have an additional instrument” to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
However, the mayor declined to elaborate on what the new measures will be.
Local media speculate that starting next week, in addition to the requirement to have a vaccination or recovery certificate to enter public places, people inside the venues will also need to practice social distancing and wear a mask, or have a recent negative test result.
All new city regulations and restriction come after COVID-19 numbers in Berlin hit an all-time high last Thursday, with 2,874 new coronavirus infection cases reported that day.