Germany faces full lockdown over Christmas period
As the number of deaths and new cases of coronavirus continues to rise in Germany, the country is set to go into a full lockdown from 16th December until 10th January.
New infections reached record levels, according to the latest figures. It has been reported that, this month, there have been over 20,000 new cases and 321 deaths.
From Wednesday, all non-essential shops and schools will close, along with bars, restaurants, and leisure centres, which have all been closed since November.
Shops selling food will be allowed to remain open, along with banks. However, people are being advised to stay at home where possible and a maximum five people from two households are allowed to gather indoors in private homes.
These rules will be relaxed between 24th and 26th December. But, there will still be restrictions – each household can invite a maximum of four family members from another household.
Rise in social contact
Chancellor Angela Merkel said a rise in social contact in the run-up to Christmas was to blame for the increase in cases. Although many places were already closed, including markets, new cases have skyrocketed
The Chancellor added that it’s the government’s job to “prevent an overload of our health systems and that’s why there is an urgent need to take action”.
These restrictions will remain in place until mid-January, which includes New Year. Events, drinking alcohol in public places, and the sale of fireworks will also be banned. In addition to this, care homes will be carrying out coronavirus testing on residents.
To support businesses during this time, the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the government will provide a financial support package. Businesses that are affected by the lockdown will be eligible for payments of up to 500,000 euros.
Despite these difficulties, the government maintains that swift action is needed to curb the spread of the virus. The total number so far has reached 1.3 million and the death toll is now over 21,000.