Germany is extending its lockdown until 18 April, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of the country’s various regions have decided.
In addition, measures will get tougher during the Easter break, between 1 and 5 April. At this point, most stores will have to close and religious services will be prohibited.
The hospitality industry, which was able to receive customers outdoors, will have to close again and mandatory telework will be extended rather than relaxed.
"We are now in a very serious situation,” Merkel said. underlining a race against the clock to vaccinate citizens.
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Germany has been facing a lockdown since December, but infections continue to grow, with German health minister Jens Spahn warning of a third coronavirus wave.
To date, 2,674,710 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Germany, and 74,964 people have died from Covid-19, according to the Robert Koch Institute - the German equivalent of Sciensano.
The Brussels Times