Germany cancels Christmas: Angela Merkel plunges the country into a new national lockdown during the Christmas season to reduce the infection rate of Covid
- The country will close most shops and schools and further restrict social contact
- Measures will be taken from December 16 to January 10 to stop the spread
- Germany recorded 20,200 new cases and 321 more deaths on Saturday
Germany will face a new national lockdown over the Christmas period as Angela Merkel is desperately trying to lower the rising Covid infection rates.
The country will close non-essential shops, hair salons and schools, and further reduce social contact.
Chancellor Merkel said she and the governors of Germany's 16 federal states had agreed to step up lockdown measures in the country from December 16 to January 10 to stop the exponential increase in COVID-19 cases.
Germany will face a new national lockdown over the Christmas period as Angela Merkel is desperately trying to reduce the rising Covid infection rate
Chancellor Merkel said she and the governors of Germany's 16 federal states had agreed to step up lockdown measures in the country from December 16 to January 10. In the photo yesterday you can see a busy Cologne
Existing restrictions imposed in November failed to significantly reduce the number of new infections, she said.
Germany recorded 20,200 newly confirmed cases and 321 additional deaths on Saturday, a high number for the weekend when many municipalities are not reporting numbers.
The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in Germany has risen in the last two weeks from 21.23 new cases per 100,000 people on November 28 to 26 new cases per 100,000 people on December 12th.
With the exception of Christmas, the number of people allowed to meet inside is limited to five, excluding children under 14 years of age.
Companies were also asked to give employees the opportunity to work from home or to offer extended company holidays.
The sale of alcohol is banned in public places, essentially banning the mulled wine stall business, which has proven popular in the days leading up to Christmas.
Take-away is still permitted in the restaurant, but consumption on site is prohibited.
The sale of fireworks, traditionally used to celebrate the New Year, is also prohibited.
The country will close most shops and schools and further reduce social contacts
Last week, the country's disease control agency reported that the infection trend has taken a worrying turn. Christmas shoppers in Berlin are pictured yesterday
"The corona situation has gotten out of hand," said Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder, welcoming the stricter restrictions that he wanted to implement in his country.
Germany closed leisure and cultural facilities in November and banned eating in restaurants.
The measures had helped halt the rapid growth of infections after the fall break, but the number had grown at a rapid pace.
However, last week the country's disease control agency reported that the infection trend has taken a worrying turn.
"With increasing mobility and the additional contacts associated with it in the run-up to Christmas, the number of infections in Germany is growing exponentially," says the strategy paper agreed by the regional leaders and Merkel.
It is therefore "our task to prevent our health systems from being overloaded, and there is therefore an urgent need for action," said the Chancellor.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the government would continue to support the companies affected by the lockdown financially.
The German news agency dpa reported that the additional provisions amounted to 11.2 billion euros.
Worship services are permitted provided minimum distance rules apply and masks are worn, although singing is prohibited.
Nursing home workers are required to take COVID-19 tests several times a week, and visitors are also required to present a negative test result before they can see loved ones in care.
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