New coronavirus measures in Germany will last until at least January, Angela Merkel has told lawmakers in the German Parliament. A Christmas amnesty cannot be guaranteed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the extension of Germany's partial lockdown in a speech to lawmakers Thursday. She said current lockdown measures had enjoyed some success, but more was needed to avoid the health system being overwhelmed.
The current partial lockdown will be extended until at least December 20, and will probably be extended into January. Details include:
- Mandatory mask-wearing has been expanded in schools.
- Private gatherings are now limited to five people from two households, with children aged 14 exempted from the count.
- The start of school holidays is expected to be brought forward to December 16.
- Travel for holidays, particularly ski vacations, is strongly discouraged until at least January 10.
- Bars, restaurants, leisure facilities and concert halls, cosmetic studios, massage practices, tattoo studios remain closed.
- Masks must be worn in all publicly accessible indoor spaces, as well as in front of retail shops and in parking lots, and public transport.
- Overnight accommodation is only allowed for non-tourist purposes.
- The mandatory quarantine period has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
- Professional sports events may only take place without spectators.
- Individual sports as well as sports for two people or with members of your own household remain permitted.
Germany on Wednesday recorded its highest 24-hour death rate, with 410 people succumbing to the coronavirus. Roughly 20,000 new infections are being recorded each day in Germany, with 22,000 recorded on Thursday. The infection rate had been accelerating before the November lockdown, and total cases are approaching one million.
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