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Merkel calls for Germany to extend lockdown

Credit: Belga

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for the extension of Germany’s partial lockdown until at least 1 March to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, sources close to her party told AFP.

At a meeting of the parliamentary group of her conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she warned against relaxing the restrictions too early which would run the risk “that the number of infections increases again very quickly,” according to these sources, and reported by Belga News Agency

A decision is due to be taken on Wednesday at a meeting with regional leaders.

Schools, shops, restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities have been closed since mid-December and even since the beginning of November for some sectors. These closures have significantly reduced the infection rate in recent weeks, but they are also causing weariness among the population and impatience in the business world.

“We have nothing to gain from a premature exit from the confinement now,” argued Merkel at the meeting with Conservative MPs. The restrictions are currently in place until 14 February.

The chancellor did not rule out a very gradual reopening of certain sectors from 1 March, starting with schools and day-care centres, the retail trade and hairdressers, according to the same sources.

The Brussels Times