Covid-19: Angela Merkel Announces New Measures As Germany Enters A Strict Lockdown
These new restrictions will begin from December 16 and will be in effect until at least January 10 to help battle the ‘peak of the pandemic’ which threatens to strike the country’s healthcare system.
In order to tackle the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel has implied a stricter lockdown in Germany. Most of the stores along with schools and daycare centers will be completely shut down following the new Covid-19 curbs. These new restrictions will begin from December 16 and will be in effect until at least January 10 to help battle the ‘peak of the pandemic’ which threatens to strike the country’s healthcare system.
On Sunday, addressing the press conference that followed a meeting of federal and state leaders, she said the country urgently needs to take serious actions keeping in mind the exponential rise in Covid-19 infections. The news has created a disappointment among the retailers and people who were looking forward to the Christmas holidays.
Angela blamed Christmas shopping for the rise of social contacts. She was quoted saying, “I would have wished for lighter measures. But due to Christmas shopping, the number of social contacts has risen considerably. There is an urgent need to take action.”
Essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as banks, are to remain open from Dec 16. However, hair salons, beauty salons, and tattoo parlours will have to be completely shut down. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz stated that the government will support affected companies with a total of around €11 billion (US$13.3 billion) a month. The businesses that are forced to close may be issued up to 90 percent of fixed costs, or up to 500,000 euros a month, as compensation.
Primarily, schools will be shut down and employers are asked to initiate the orders immediately and have employees work from home. The sale of fireworks will be banned ahead of New Year’s celebration. Though Germany has been in a partial lockdown for six weeks, with bars and restaurants closed, while stores and schools were kept regular. Some regions have already imposed serious measures to avoid the rise of infections.
These new orders and restrictions were issued after daily infections and deaths reached a new record in the last few days. Dealing with the first wave, Germany managed it quite well balancing their economy and at the same time battling the pandemic. However, the nation has faced severe issues as the second wave hit.
As per the reports, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 20,200 and the death toll rose by 321.
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