Merkel urges Germans to get vaccinated as Delta variant spreads

BERLIN, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Germany needs to speed up a slowing vaccination campaign to avoid overwhelming its health care system, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday after talks with leaders of the country’s 16 states on containing COVID-19.

“The bad news is that the vaccination rate has lost pace substantially,” Merkel told a news conference after the talks. “I hope it will pick up pace again after the (summer) holidays.”

Merkel said that starting Oct. 11 Germany would end subsidies for free coronavirus tests and would require people to be either vaccinated, test negative or have a coronavirus recovery certificate to be able to visit places like restaurants, care homes and fitness centres. (Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Paul Carrel)