Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel , Source: Federal Government / Kugler

New Covid-19 measures in Germany to reduce the rise of cases

New Covid-19 measures in Germany to reduce the rise of cases

Germany is extending lockdown until mid-April

On Tuesday, 22 March 2021, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the extension of lockdown measures after a video conference with the country’s 16 state governors. Now the restrictions will be stricter and they will continue until 18 April, which will include Easter Week. With the new restrictions, authorities are hoping to slow the spread of the disease.

What was decided at the conference?

New measures will be implemented immediately to attempt to prevent the increase in the number of cases and the spread of the disease. Concerns about the new British mutation have also led to the new restrictions and some of the most important measures are:

  • Lockdown to be extended until 18 April
  • Public celebrations during Easter Week (1– 5 April) will not be allowed
  • Regions with more than 100 cases per 100 000 inhabitants for three consecutive days will receive tighter measures

In the meantime, testing and vaccination centres will remain open but unnecessary gatherings, events and stores will close for the period. Only grocery shops will stay open on Easter Saturday. Easter services with a live audience should therefore be avoided, and religious gatherings should only take place virtually.

Travels and vacations

Concerned about the growing number of Germans travelling abroad for vacation, officials also agreed on a requirement that all air travellers be checked for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to Germany.

Some states expressed an opinion on the possibility of having a “low-contact vacation”, a status that would have allowed vacationing in holiday apartments, homes, caravans with their own sanitary facilities. This was one of the big discussions of Tuesday night negotiations between the state governors and the Chancellor. However, it was not accepted and included in the new measures.

Last week, health officials issued a warning that coronavirus cases are increasing at a "clearly exponential rate." On Monday, the number of confirmed cases in Germany rose by 7,709 to 2,667,225, while the death toll increased by 50 to 74,714.

UPDATE 24 March 2021: After another day of discussions, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the cancelling of the lockdown during the Easter celebrations. According to the Chancellor, the new measures would have caused more harm and difficulties than good to the population, which she expressed during a press conference. 

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