This is an attempt that Germany has not experienced since World War II, and it is up to us all to decide whether November will be a turning point in the development of the coronavirus pandemic, said Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, justifying the authorities’ decision on new restrictions in Germany.
After the new sanitary restrictions entered into force on Monday, the head of the government during a press conference in Berlin expressed the hope that the restrictions would act as a “breakwater”. She called on the public to adhere to the new measures to fight the coronavirus and to limit contacts.
“If we stick with it for a month, it could be a breakwater for the second wave (of infections),” Merkel said. “It means four weeks without many of the things that make life beautiful,” she admitted.
The chancellor asked for the understanding of the company which, due to the new restrictions in Germany, must close their activities for the time being. “Nobody will be left alone without income,” she assured.
Merkel referred to the current data on coronavirus infection in Germany. The average weekly number of infections is now 127.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, but we need to go below 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, she said.
“We must not allow the spread of the virus to overwhelm our health service,” Merkel stressed.
“Obviously people are a little disappointed that it all takes so long,” she admitted. – Autumn has come with great force and the winter months will be long. The light at the end of the tunnel is still far away.
In the spring, many people were wary, so the pandemic was under control. “It will be more difficult in the winter months, if only because there is a lot more going on at home,” she added.
“I understand the dissatisfaction, but I still have to appeal for acceptance as we have no other choice.” Merkel stressed that she believed in the strength of reason and the responsibility of democracy.
The chancellor did not want to prejudge the epidemic of December and whether the restrictions would continue to apply. However, she reiterated that one of the goals would be to reduce the average weekly number of coronavirus infections to less than 50 per 100,000 people.
“It will be Christmas in coronavirus conditions, but it should not be a lonely Christmas,” Merkel said. “I don’t think there will be any big New Year’s Eve celebrations,” she added.
The German chancellor and prime ministers of the federal states agreed last week to introduce further restrictions in the country amid the rising number of coronavirus infections since November 2nd.
According to these arrangements, members of only two households, maximum 10 people, will be able to stay together in public places. Restaurants, bars, clubs, discos and pubs are to be closed by the end of November.
Schools and kindergartens will remain open despite the sharp increase in coronavirus infections. Shops should also remain open, but there must be no more than one customer per 10 square meters.