Germany extends the lockdown until January 31 and tightens restrictions

Germany extends the lockdown until January 31 and tightens restrictions

The German government said on Tuesday it will extend the country’s lockdown for three weeks until January 31, and has tightened restrictions on social contacts and planning restrictions on the movement of people in the hardest hit areas as it tries to reduce stubbornly high infection rates. And the numbers of deaths related to the worrying Corona virus.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was “absolutely essential” to maintain restrictions, especially in light of the more contagious type of virus that had emerged in England.

“We must reach a point where we can once again trace the chains of infection,” Merkel said after a lengthy video conference with the governors of the 16 states in Germany. Otherwise, we will continue to return to lockdown after a short relaxation period.

The chancellor said restrictions on social contacts would be tightened. People will only be allowed to meet one person outside of their home.

In a new move, authorities across Germany will allow people in regions with more than 200 new infections per 100,000 residents within seven days to travel only 15 kilometers (just over nine miles) from their hometown unless they have a good reason to go. To further.

“Day trips in particular are not a good reason,” Merkel said. It recalled a recent flurry of accidents, in which daytime travelers hoping to ski or skis have bypassed the winter resorts despite the lifts and other facilities being closed.

Merkel and the Conservatives plan to consult again on January 25 on what will happen after the end of the month.

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Germany launched a partial nationwide lockdown on November 2, with restaurants, bars, leisure and sports facilities closed. That failed to curb infections, and the current lockdown – which has also shut down non-essential stores and schools – went into effect on December 16, and was initially scheduled to last until January 10.

Authorities say Germany-reported numbers of COVID-19 cases are distorted by reduced testing and delayed reporting during the Christmas and New Year period. Merkel said the nation’s CDC says it expects to only have a credible picture of what’s going on as of January 17.

But even according to current figures, Germany is far from its stated goal of getting fewer than 50 new confirmed cases per 100,000 residents over seven days – the maximum that officials say contact tracing can work properly.

On Tuesday, the infection rate stood at 134.7 per 100,000 nationwide, and 944 more deaths were reported to authorities within 24 hours, one of the highest daily death rates to date in a country where the death rate for COVID-19 was relatively low during the first pandemic. Stage.

Merkel said the emergence of the new look in England was “another reason” for the restrictions to continue. A few cases of the variant have been discovered in Germany.

The chancellor defended Germany’s approach to vaccinations after criticism fueled by perceptions that Europe was getting off to a slow start and that the European Union was extremely reluctant to request the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine that has been allowed for use so far in the 27-nation bloc.

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Germany had vaccinated nearly 317,000 people by Tuesday, just over a week since the campaign began. This is a better offer than many other EU countries, but critics have indicated faster progress in the UK, US and Israel.

Merkel said it was “right and important” for the European Union, and not individual countries, to request vaccines for the entire bloc. She said this is “in Germany’s interest” because the country is surrounded by other member states of the European Union and in the middle of the European trade area that relies on open borders.

She said: “The high number of people who have been vaccinated in Germany in addition to the many who have not been vaccinated in our region will not be beneficial to Germany.” “So we do not want individual national efforts. We believe that the most effective health protection for us can be achieved through a common European procedure.”

Health Minister Jens Spahn, who has faced criticism from within the ruling coalition in Germany, has repeatedly said that vaccinations are progressing as expected and that the slow start is because teams first go to nursing homes to vaccinate the most vulnerable. Merkel said she believes SPAN is doing a “wonderful job”.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the epidemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine And https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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