Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government extends partial Covid-19 lockdown to Wednesday to fight the coronavirus pandemic until at least March 7, even as Germans grow increasingly weary of the tough restrictions reported France24.
Following crunch talks with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states, Merkel said that the number of new Covid-19 infections in Europe’s top economy was dropping after more than two months of shuttered schools and shops.
“When we look at this development we can be quite satisfied,” she told reporters.
But she called on Germans to be patient as fears grow over more contagious virus variants first detected in Britain and South Africa, WE WROTE ABOUT IT HERE>>.
“We want to do everything in our power so that we don’t end up riding an up-and-down wave of openings and closures,” Merkel said, calling the period until mid-March “existential” for Germany’s management of the pandemic.
The new strains “are spreading especially quickly and require significant additional efforts”, the government said in conclusions agreed at the meeting.
After the announcement, Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller said the capital would begin partially reopening schools from February 22, with other regions expected to follow suit.
The conclusions call on Health Minister Jens Spahn to review whether nursery workers and teachers can be given higher priority in vaccinations.
Hairdressers may reopen on March 1 if they take the necessary hygiene precautions.
The conclusions also raise the prospect of museums, galleries and some services restarting once the virus incidence rate falls to 35 new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period.
The government had earlier set an incidence target of 50 but revised it downward due to the threat of what Merkel called “exponential growth” posed by the more contagious virus mutations.
Source: France24.com, Afronews.de