Merkel said now is the time to act to prevent the spread of the new #coronavirus variants.
Merkel and Germany’s 16 state premiers decided to keep the lockdown in place until at least mid-February. The new, tougher measures would also see people wearing filter masks in shops and on public transport.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of the country’s 16 states on Tuesday agreed to keep the lockdown in place and introduce tougher measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The lockdown, previously set to expire at the end of January, has now been prolonged until February 14. Most shops, schools and non-essential business, such as gyms and sports centers, will remain closed. The new measures include stricter rules on the types of masks that must be worn in certain public places, and a greater onus on employers to allow working from home.
Although new infections have been decreasing in recent days and the pressure on intensive care units has eased slightly, virologists are worried that more infectious variants, such as the ones identified in the UK and South Africa might spread in the EU country.
“Now is the time to take preventive measures against the threat of this virus,” Merkel told reporters after a meeting with the state premiers. DW