Germany has decreed partial containment from Wednesday until January 10 with the closure announced Sunday by Chancellor Angela Merkel of “non-essential” businesses, as well as schools and nurseries, in the face of the second wave of the virus . Noting “the very many deaths” due to the coronavirus epidemic and “the exponential growth” of infections, the conservative leader assured: “we are forced to act and we are acting now”.
In a resolution adopted by the federal state and the 16 regional states, employers are invited to give priority as much as possible to teleworking or vacations for their employees for three and a half weeks “in order to implement the principle of ‘we stay at home’ ”. The pandemic “is out of control,” warned the leader of Bavaria, Markus Söder, during a press conference with the Chancellor and the Minister of Finance, Olaf Scholz.
Restrictions also for Christmas
It is “a disaster that affects our lives more than any other crisis of the past 50 years,” he added. The Germans will de facto find themselves in partial confinement as they had already experienced it for several weeks in the spring during the first wave of Covid-19. Social contacts should be limited to a maximum of five adults from two different households and also remain very limited from December 24 to 26 when meetings will only be possible between members of very close family.
Germans who want to celebrate Christmas will also have to reduce their contact as much as possible in the seven days before family reunions. The sale of alcohol on public roads will also be banned from Wednesday. Many cafes and bars, closed since the beginning of November, have started selling mulled wine on stalls in the street, a Christmas tradition deeply rooted in Germany but which has alerted the Chancellor and the authorities in recent days.
30,000 infections on Friday alone
Since the beginning of November, all restaurants, bars, museums, theaters and all sports facilities have been closed to the public. But these measures have shown their limits in recent days, especially with the approach of the end-of-year holidays when many Germans are rushing to stores for end-of-year purchases. The number of new infections and deaths in recent days has reached unprecedented records in a country that has so far remained relatively untouched by the pandemic.
He approached the threshold of 30,000 infections on Friday and then Saturday with 598 deaths on Thursday. This Sunday, the figures fell slightly to 20,200 new infections in twenty-four hours and 321 deaths, but this is mainly due to the fact that some new cases are not listed during the weekend.