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Coronavirus: Germany to enter new lockdown, Angela Merkel announces

Most stores, schools and daycare centers are expected to shut starting Wednesday

Chantal da Silva
Sunday 13 December 2020 13:29 GMT
Germany to enter second lockdown, Angela Merkel announces

German chancellor Angela Merkel has revealed new lockdown restrictions to combat a rise in coronavirus cases across the country. 

In a news conference on Sunday following a meeting of federal and state leaders, Ms Merkel said most stores would be ordered to shut starting on Wednesday, along with schools and daycare centers.

The new restrictions are expected to remain in effect until at least 10 January as the country grapples with a second wave of the pandemic

German states are still expected to ease Covid-19 restrictions during the holiday period from 24 to 26 December in order to allow family members to gather. 

Under those rules,  immediate family members from up to a maximum of two households can meet in groups of up to five people plus children under fifteen.

Read more: Angela Merkel calls for creation of European health union amid pandemic

Under the restrictions, schools are being asked to send students home as soon as possible and continue lessons online, with the Christmas holidays also expected to be extended until 10 January. 

Meanwhile, parents will be allowed to take paid holidays in order to look after their children as daycares close.

Anyone who can work from home is being encouraged to do so. 

The restrictions block residents across states from being allowed to drink alcohol out in public. 

Religious events will still be allowed to take place. However, they must comply with coronavirus safety measures, including a policy barring communal singing. 

The announcement comes as Germany recorded another 20,200 new Covid-19 cases within a 24-hour period, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

As of Sunday, Germany had recorded at least 1,320,716 cases in total, according to RKI data.

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