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Germany: Restrictions extended and tightened. Holiday exceptions

Yesterday’s meeting of Angela Merkel with the leaders of the federal states lasted several hours, during which a further strategy to fight the Covid-19 pandemic was established. It was decided to extend the current coronavirus restrictions in Germany, and in some cases even tighten them. The exception will be the holiday season, when the possibility of meetings in larger groups will be allowed.

Partial Lokcdown extended – what exactly does it mean?
At the press conference, after a video meeting with the leaders of all 16 federal states, which lasted over seven hours and we wrote about it here>>, Angela Merkel said that although the first success had already been achieved, that is to stop the avalanche increase in infections, it was too early to ease the restrictions.

It was decided that restaurants, bars, discos, museums, theatres and amusement parks will remain closed until at least December 20. Hotels will also remain closed for almost a month – accommodation in them will only be possible for business travellers.

“Once again, we are limiting contacts to five people from two households,” stated the head of the German government. The exceptions will be Christmas and New Years. From December 23 to January 1, it will be possible to meet 10 people from different households. Children under the age of 14 are exempt from this restriction.

Holidays without great services, New Year’s Eve without fireworks displays
Angela Merkel and representatives of the federal state authorities agreed that due to the ban on gatherings this year, great services could not be held. The sale of fireworks will be allowed, but it will be forbidden to organize their displays in the main squares and streets.

Germany coronavirus restrictions: “Hospitals are full, mortality is rising”; Germany is planning further restrictions

Skiing trips impossible
Angela Merkel announced that she would start talks with neighbouring countries to extend the ski-travel ban adopted in Germany, which is to apply until January 10, 2021.

Obligation to wear masks
Wearing a mask will apply not only in shops and public transport, but also in parking lots, promenades and in front of shops. The latter will remain open, but the number of customers will be limited. In stores up to 800 square meters, there can be no more than one person per 10 square meters. In larger stores – one person per 20 meters.

Limiting the maximum number of visitors to shopping centres
The nose and mouth should be covered in shops, in parking lots next to them, in shopping streets and galleries, and in all means of public transport.

In general, schools remain open, but in counties with a high number of infections it will be possible to introduce hybrid or remote learning for a while. In most federal states, the winter break this year will start earlier than usual, on December 19. The obligation to wear masks during lessons generally applies to pupils from grade 7, but the state authorities may extend it to younger classes. In many countries, masks are compulsory from 5th grade.

Arrival to Germany from abroad and quarantine
The restrictions on arrival in Germany and quarantine upon arrival from abroad remain unchanged.

When can the restrictions be relaxed?
The German government wants to limit the number of new infections to a maximum of 50 per 100,000. residents for seven days. Currently, this number is almost three times higher. In the last 24 hours, 22,268 new coronavirus infections were diagnosed in Germany, and 389 infected people died, the Institute of Robert Koch in Berlin (RKI).

Source: dpa, ,