Germany’s measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak will probably last into January, chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

“Given the high number of infections, we assume that the restrictions which are in place before Christmas will continue to be valid until the start of January, certainly for most parts of Germany”, Merkel said, adding that the number of COVID-19 deaths is a reason for concern.

On November 2, Germany imposed a month-long lockdown, under which bars and restaurants are closed but schools and shops remain open. From December 1, private gatherings will be limited to five people, but over Christmas, that number will rise to 10.

On Wednesday, Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany’s federal states late to extend the lockdown until December 20, but to ease rules over the Christmas holidays.

Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, suggested however, that restrictions might be needed for longer: “We have difficult winter months ahead of us. This will continue until March. After March, I am very optimistic because we will probably be able to vaccinate more and more people and it will be easier to keep infection rates low with the spring”, Braun said.

On Thursday, the number of infections in the country increased by 22,268 to 983,588, while the death toll rose by 389 to 15,160.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here