Germany likely to be under lockdown until early next year
- 14 December 2020
Germany is unlikely to lift its coronavirus lockdown early next year, a top aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, signalling Europe’s biggest economy will have to contend with the crippling restrictions well into the winter months, APA reports citing Reuters.
Merkel and German state leaders agreed to shut most stores from Wednesday until Jan. 10 to reverse a tide of COVID-19 infections that lighter restrictions introduced last month had failed to tame.
“A comprehensive easing is very, very unlikely,” Helge Braun, Merkel’s chief of staff, told the RTL broadcaster. “January and February are always difficult months in terms of respiratory tract infections.”
Under the stricter rules, only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as banks, are to remain open from Dec. 16. Hair salons, beauty salons, and tattoo parlours will also have to shut.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases reported more than 16,000 new cases and 188 deaths on Monday, almost half the daily infections reported late last week. But the drop could be linked to fewer tests being carried out and less data being transferred to the RKI during the weekend.