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Germany on the brink of nationwide lockdown-lite in November

Federal authorities will be negotiating with regional leaders on how to implement the draft proposal

  • 28 de octubre de 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium 10 14 bild sozgipfel en
Fuente: © Bundesregierung/Denzel

Later today, members of the German Federal government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel will enter into negotiations and talks with the country’s regional leaders on a proposed lockdown-lite that could come into effect as early as November.

Federal authorities want to stem the tide of new COVID-19 cases but believe that they have learned valuable lessons from the first wave of the disease – thus, they do not want a repeat of the full lockdown which drove the economy into the ground. Instead, they will be proposing a more refined and balanced approach that will safeguard both the lives of citizens, as well as their jobs.

The proposals in detail

Should the plan proposed by Angela Merkel’s government have any hope of reaching its desired outcome, Germany’s regional leaders and state premiers must first give it the green light. Thus today’s discussions will be pivotal to how the country responds to the unfolding crisis.

The most important measures that authorities have in mind include:

  • Closing all bars, cafes, gyms, theatres and cinemas
  • Limiting public meetings to members of two households
  • Suspending domestic tourism
  • Ramping up testing for elderly and vulnerable citizens
  • Providing additional financial support for the affected sectors

What differentiates this approach from its previous iteration is the fact that not everything across the country will be forced into a standstill. For example, schools and kindergartens will be allowed to remain open, as will shops, hair salons and other similar businesses.

Should the new measures be accepted by regional leaders, they can come into force as early as 4 November and last until the end of the month. It is, however, expected for these talks to be especially difficult for Chancellor Merkel as she could face unprecedented levels of dissent from the governments of Eastern German states where infection rates have been lower and where officials dislike the notion of nation-wide measures.

It is also worth noting that the German Federal Government is fighting the pandemic largely with both of its hands tied behind its back as it does not have the power to enforce its proposals and plans. Instead, the ball lies squarely in the regions’ court – and their administrations are not always team players.

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