Germany to impose stricter lockdown to battle rise in COVID-19 cases
- 13 December 2020
Germany will close most shops from Wednesday until Jan. 10 as it tightens coronavirus restrictions and tries to rein in the spread of the disease, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, APA reports citing Reuters.
“There is an urgent need to take action,” Merkel said following a meeting with leaders of the country’s 16 federal states.
Under the agreement, only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as banks, are to remain open.
Schools will also be closed in principle during the period, and employers will be asked to close operations or have employees work from home. The sale of fireworks will be banned ahead of New Year’s Eve.
Germany has been in partial lockdown for six weeks, with bars and restaurants closed, while stores and schools have remained open. Some regions have already imposed tougher measures as infections grew.
New daily infections and deaths have reached records in recent days, and more politicians have been sounding the alarm.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 20,200 to 1,320,716, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 321 to 21,787, the tally showed.