The German government approved a new law Wednesday that would make measles vaccinations mandatory for both children and employees in German preschools and kindergartens.

If parents fail to comply, they could be fined up to 2,500 euros ($2,807) and their children might not be allowed to attend kindergarten.

"Whether they are in kindergarten, with a nanny, or at school, we want to protect all children from a measles infection," said German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn.

There were 543 cases of measles in Germany last year, with more than 400 cases already in 2019.

The Robert Koch Institute, a German disease control and prevention organization, said in 2017 that Germany is one of the worst countries in Europe when it comes to vaccinating children. The institute found that 150,000 German 2-year olds were not fully vaccinated for all diseases, and 28,000 children were not vaccinated specifically against the measles.

The World Health Organization estimates that from 2000 to 2017, measles vaccinations resulted in an 80% drop in deaths from the disease worldwide.

The measles is known for symptoms such as a rash of red spots on the body, along with a runny nose and teary eyes. The disease is highly contagious and can be passed through direct contact and through the air.

Unvaccinated children are most at risk for the disease and the virus is still a danger in parts of Africa and Asia, where vaccinations may not be accessible.

The disease recently made headlines in the U.S. when it made a comeback in the state of New York, due to orthodox Jews refusing to vaccinate their children for religious reasons.