Germans must reduce travel, partying to fight COVID-19, says Merkel aide

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany should continue capping the number of people allowed at gatherings and clamp down on unnecessary travel as the country battles rising coronavirus infections, an aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.

Reuters October 12, 2020 00:11:11 IST
Germans must reduce travel, partying to fight COVID-19, says Merkel aide

COVID-19 , says Merkel aide" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/10-2020/12/2020-10-11T175132Z_1_LYNXMPEG9A0K9_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-GERMANY.jpg" alt="Germans must reduce travel partying to fight COVID19 says Merkel aide" width="300" height="225" />

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany should continue capping the number of people allowed at gatherings and clamp down on unnecessary travel as the country battles rising coronavirus infections, an aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.

"We must be a bit stricter in places where infection chains spread mostly, which is parties and, unfortunately, also travel," the chancellor's chief of staff, Helge Braun, told public broadcaster ARD.

"We are at the beginning of a second wave and only the politicians' and the population's determination will decide whether or not we can avoid it, or slow it down," he added.

Germany had managed to keep the number of new infections and deaths lower than many of its neighbours but the daily number of new cases has leapt above 4,000 since Thursday, the highest since April.

Sunday's count was below that but that is because test reports tend to be lower at weekends.

Merkel and mayors from Germany's 11 largest cities agreed on Friday to adopt stricter measures if infections exceed a threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 population in a week.

More than 20 cities are now above that level, which has caused a patchwork of internal travel restrictions.

Braun, a medical doctor, said test centres should prioritise health sector workers and people showing symptoms over tourists. Holidaymakers can circumvent the local travel curbs if they produce negative test results.

Bavaria's prime minister, Markus Soeder, at the weekend proposed steeper fines for people not wearing masks where mandated in places such as public transport and shops -- of 250 euros ($295.60) compared with the current 50 euros, and 500 euros for repeat offenders.

Braun said he agreed with tough penalties.

Merkel will hold further talks with state premiers on Wednesday.

($1 = 0.8457 euros)

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editint by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.