COVID-19: Germany Shuts Down Restaurants, Cinemas, No Fans at Sport Events
Chancellor Merkel emphasizes: We need a temporary national effort in November. We must act now to avoid an emergency. - That's why the federal government and the states have taken the following decisions, which will apply throughout Germany from November 2., first until the end of November.
Germany's federal and state governments have agreed on sweeping contact restrictions for the month of November in a bid to contain coronavirus infections, sources involved in talks on Wednesday between regional leaders and Chancellor Angela Merkel reported DPA.
The restrictions, which include shutting down cultural and recreational facilities and closing restaurants, are to come into effect as early as Friday. Fans will also be banned from top level football matches in the Bundesliga.
Shops will remain open, although they will not be allowed to let in more than one customer per 10 square metres.
Cosmetic and massage studios, and tattoo studios will have to close, but hairdressers can stay open under strict hygiene conditions. Schools and kindergartens are to remain open, but will be required to introduce new hygiene protocols.
According to a government position paper, Merkel is seeking to limit outdoor gatherings to include no more than the members of two households.
The November shutdown, which brings back sweeping restrictions not seen since the start of the pandemic in March and April, is intended to quell soaring case numbers ahead of the Christmas season.
Germany reported a record spike in coronavirus infections hours before Merkel's online conference with the 16 state premiers, whose backing she needs to initiate the strict measures.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control said 14,964 new coronavirus infections had been confirmed during a 24-hour period, marking the country's highest daily increase since the pandemic began.
This brings the total number of cases so far to 449,275. The institute said the death toll rose by 27 to 10,098.
Domestic tourism will largely be banned, with overnight stays in hotels forbidden unless for "essential" reasons.
After inviting the regional leaders to Berlin to discuss the situation just two weeks ago, the format moved back online due to the soaring infection rates.
"Families and friends should be able to meet each other during the Christmas season even under coronavirus conditions. That's why, as we did in spring, we need another joint effort," the draft plan reads./DPA
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