COVID-19: Germany Introduces New Restrictions Amid Rise In Cases

Germany has entered a hard lockdown, closing schools and non-essential businesses in an attempt to stop a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections.

The measures will be in place until 10 January. Christmas will see a slight easing, with one household allowed to host up to four close family members.

The country reported another 952 deaths and 27,728 cases on Wednesday.

Other European countries have tightened restrictions ahead of Christmas, with France introducing a night-time curfew.

Under Germany’s new measures, only essential businesses such as supermarkets and banks will be allowed to remain open. Restaurants, bars and leisure centres have been shut since November and some areas of the country had imposed their own lockdowns.

Hair salons are among the businesses which must close, while drinking alcohol in public places, such as popular mulled wine stalls, is forbidden. Companies are being urged to allow employees to work from home.

The 952 new fatalities announced on Wednesday are a new peak for Germany’s pandemic, but may cover numbers that were not included in previous days.

Lothar Wieler, head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, which is overseeing the Covid-19 response, said the situation was “more serious than it has ever been”.

“The number of cases is higher than ever and they keep rising. There is the danger that the situation will keep getting worse and it will get harder and harder to deal with the pandemic and its consequences,” he said.

Deutsche Welle reported that while cases in the younger population were falling, they were still rising among older people who were more likely to suffer more serious problems from the virus. Numbers in intensive care are said to have reached alarming levels.

Announcing the new measures over the weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the “lockdown light” begun in November had not done enough to bring the virus under control.

The figures are particularly shocking, as during the early months of the pandemic Germany was more successful than many other European countries in its handling of the crisis.

Source:bbc.com

Latest Headlines

Recommended for you