German Chancellor Angela Merkel has changed her mind and told the leaders of Germany’s 16 states that there would be no strict COVID-19 lockdown over Easter.
The decision to backtrack on the previously announced Easter lockdown follows a day of criticism and confusion in Germany.
Yesterday the Chancellor and state premiers agreed to implement tough virus lockdown measures over Easter.
Ms Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states are holding an impromptu video call where it has been said that that a planned tougher lockdown over the Easter bank holiday would not take place after all.
The Easter lockdown foresaw the closure of all businesses for five days. The announcement met fierce criticism especially from churches, DW reported.
The U-turn was announced at the meeting between Ms Merkel and the state premiers, the German Press Agency (DPA) learned. It is however yet to be officially announced publicly.
Ms Merkel told the leaders that the earlier agreement they had made to close down most shops and gathering from 1st to 5th April would not be implemented. “The mistake was my mistake,” Ms Merkel was cited by participants as saying.
Sources at the meeting told DPA that the reason for the U-turn was because shutting down or vastly limiting business activities on April 1 and 3 would have been too difficult to enforce.
“I take full responsibility for this misjudgement,” Bild newspaper quoted Ms Merkel to have told the state leaders. “In my long experience I’ve learned that if you try to knock your head through a wall, the wall wins.”