German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to implement a partial second lockdown in a bid to control rising coronavirus cases in the country.
The lockdown begins next Monday and will see restaurants, bars, and clubs closed in order to “avoid a national health emergency,” Merkel said Wednesday.
She added that in the last 10 days, the number of intensive care admissions in Germany has doubled. “I want to say what makes the situation particularly serious… the rate of dissemination is particularly high,” she said.
From November 2, people residing in the country are advised to stay home, avoid travel and “keep their contacts to an absolute minimum,” Merkel said. Social contacts will be limited to two households in public. Schools and kindergartens will remain open but have to take strict hygiene measures to do so.
The measures will last for four weeks and will be reassessed in two weeks’ time. Though strict, the guidelines are less harsh than the lockdown imposed this spring, which brought the country to a standstill.
Merkel’s announcement comes after a meeting with leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states to discuss the country’s spike in cases, which has seen the state of Bavaria and Frankfurt introduce restrictions that range from curfews to localized lockdowns.
The country recorded a record of 14,964 new daily infections on Wednesday, according to the country’s disease and control agency the Robert Koch Institute.
Germany’s total coronavirus case count now stands at 449,275 and the death toll at 10,098, the institute’s data showed.
New restrictions for the next month
- Restaurants and bars will close, except for take-away
- Large events will be canceled again
- Unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged
- Overnight stays in hotels for tourist purposes is banned
- All those who can work from home should do so and employers should ease a transition into working from home
- Meetings in public will be restricted to just two households of up to 10 people in total.
- Entertainment facilities such as theaters and cinemas will be closed
- Public recreation centers such as swimming pools, gyms, and saunas will be closed
- No crowds at sports events
What is allowed
- Schools and kindergartens will remain open
- Church services and protests will be allowed to continue due constitutional concerns
- Nursing home residents will be allowed to receive visitors.
- Shops will remain open, with one customer allowed per 10 square meters (108 square feet).
- Borders remain open