Germany Extends Lockdown To Feb. 14 On Fears Of COVID Variants, Sources Say
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers agreed on Tuesday to extend a lockdown for most shops and schools until Feb. 14 as part of a package of steps to try to rein in the coronavirus, sources told Reuters.
- Last Updated:January 19, 2021, 20:42 IST
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BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers agreed on Tuesday to extend a lockdown for most shops and schools until Feb. 14 as part of a package of steps to try to rein in the coronavirus, sources told Reuters.
They also agreed to mandate medical masks for passengers on public transport, the sources familiar with the ongoing discussions said. The existing lockdown runs until Jan. 31.
New infections have been decreasing in recent days and pressure on intensive care units has eased slightly, but virologists are worried about the possible spread of more infectious variants of the virus.
The federal government has proposed that aid for companies should be improved due to the extension, a draft of the resolution to be discussed showed. The federal government would also create a working group to draw up a blueprint for a safe and fair opening strategy, said the draft.
“The infection numbers have been going down for several weeks, or stagnating, and that’s good,” Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller told German television. “Now we are facing a very aggressive mutation that we have to respond to.”
He said one focus would be boosting working from home.
“There is much more room for manoeuvre,” said Mueller, adding states aimed to get employees to have to justify why employees had to travel to work.
Leaders would also discuss curfews, already in place in some states, but it was unlikely they would be imposed everywhere, he said.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen by 11,369 to 2.05 million, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The death toll was up 989 at 47,622.
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