The European country will close schools and shops from this Wednesday until January 10, 2021 after registering more than 20 thousand infections this Sunday.
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The German government officially decreed a “hard lockdown” from Wednesday, December 16 to January 10. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 , the new quarantine involves the closure of schools and businesses, as well as restrictions on public life and non-essential activities.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the 16 federal states agreed to the measure in the face of the serious situation. This Sunday, 20,200 new coronavirus infections and 321 deaths were registered in just 24 hours , according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), a leading epidemiological center.
“There is an urgent need to act,” Merkel declared. The European country adds 1.33 million positive cases and 21,900 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
The virus is not on vacation, wise words from Angela Merkel: pic.twitter.com/rbmXXnGNBx
– Farmarato (@Farmarato)December 11, 2020
During these weeks, only essential shops, such as supermarkets, pharmacies and bank branches , will be able to open. It is recommended not to travel within or outside the German territory and to keep work from home
The Christmas holidays are extended to three weeks, until January 10, compared to January 4 originally planned. The regulations will leave open the possibility of continuing with distance education and in some schools guard checkpoints will be established for special cases, such as the children of parents with essential professions.
Social gatherings , including those at Christmas and the end of the year, will be limited to five adults from two different addresses, not counting children under 14 years of age. For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve , a national “gathering ban” will be decreed in public spaces. The sale of alcohol on public roads (goodbye to traditional mulled wine stands), as well as the trade and use of pyrotechnic products will also be prohibited.
The finance minister, Olaf Scholz, announced that a new package will soon be approved, additional economic support to the existing ones.
“I would have liked the measures to be lighter, but due to Christmas shopping the number of social contacts has increased considerably,” said Merkel.