Chancellor Angela Merkel announced today that she and the country’s 16 state governors, have agreed on the partial lockdown during a video conference held Wednesday. She said the German officials have agreed to a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and other leisure facilities.
This partial shutdown is being done to curb a sharp rise in coronavirus infections. It is set to take effect Monday November 2 and last until the end of November. Unlike Germany’s shutdown during the first phase of the pandemic in March and April, shops and schools are to remain open and restaurants will be able to provide takeout food.
Merkel said, “We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency.” Merkel appealed to people not to make unnecessary journeys and said hotels won’t be able to accommodate people on tourist trips.
The decision came hours after Germany’s disease control agency said a record 14,964 new confirmed cases were recorded across the country in the past day, taking the national total in the pandemic to 449,275. Germany, which has 83 million people, also record 27 more virus-related deaths, raising its overall death toll to 10,098, the Robert Koch Institute said Wednesday.
“We can say that our health system can cope with the challenge today,” Merkel said. “But if the pace of infections continues like this, then we’ll reach the limits of what the health system can manage within weeks.”
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