Christmas lockdown for Germany as virus spikes
- 13 December 2020
Germany is to go into a hard lockdown over the Christmas period as the number of deaths and infections from the coronavirus reaches record levels, APA reports citing BBC.
Non-essential shops will close across the country from Wednesday, as will schools, with children to be cared for at home wherever possible.
Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed Christmas shopping for a "considerable" rise in social contacts.
The latest figures showed 20,200 more infections and a further 321 deaths.
The new lockdown will run from 16 December to 10 January. Announcing the move after meeting leaders of the country's 16 states, Mrs Merkel said there was "an urgent need to take action".
Restaurants, bars and leisure centres have already been closed since November, and some areas of the country had imposed their own lockdowns.
Under the national lockdown, essential shops, such as those selling food, will stay open, as can banks. Outlets selling Christmas trees can also continue trading. Hair salons are among the businesses which must close.
Companies are being urged to allow employees to work from home.