Germany braces for extension of lockdown until Dec. 20

By Andreas Rinke and Sabine Siebold BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will have to extend its measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic until Dec. 20, according to senior politicians and a draft proposal obtained by Reuters on Sunday. Germany imposed a month-long 'lockdown-lite' from Nov

Reuters November 23, 2020 04:10:19 IST
Germany braces for extension of lockdown until Dec. 20

Germany braces for extension of lockdown until Dec 20

By Andreas Rinke and Sabine Siebold

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will have to extend its measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic until Dec. 20, according to senior politicians and a draft proposal obtained by Reuters on Sunday.

Germany imposed a month-long "lockdown-lite" from Nov. 2 to contain a second wave of the virus that is sweeping much of Europe, but infection numbers have not declined.

"Everything points to the fact that the current restrictions must be extended for some time beyond Nov. 30," Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Bild am Sonntag (BamS).

Bars and restaurants are closed, but schools and shops remain open. Private gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households and the draft proposal says that number would be reduced to five.

It was unclear which of the 16 German federal states were backing the draft proposal.

The leader of Bavaria's Christian Social Union, Markus Soeder, told BamS that ideally measures would be extended by three weeks, which would imply Dec. 20 as an end-date.

"The wave has been broken, but unfortunately the number of new infections is not coming down. Instead, intensive care units continue to be swamped and the death roll rises," Soeder said.

He said cinemas, bars and hotels would need to remain closed, adding there should be a ban on fireworks and alcohol on New Year's Eve in large public squares. The draft suggests a sales and purchase ban on fireworks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with state leaders on Nov. 25 to discuss whether to impose further restrictions or extend the current ones.

Scholz said that financial support for affected enterprises would have to continue if there is an agreement to extend restrictions, but added continued compensation for 75% of lost revenue would be a challenge under European competition laws.

"But it's about safeguarding livelihoods, so we must act in a pragmatic, unbureaucratic and smart way," he said.

(Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Barbara Lewis)

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

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Water cannon fired at Frankfurt anti-lockdown rally
World

Water cannon fired at Frankfurt anti-lockdown rally

MUNICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German police fired water cannon during an anti-lockdown rally in Frankfurt on Saturday and eventually broke up the gathering as rules like wearing masks and socially distancing were not observed. About 600 people from the loosely organized Querdenker movement that opposes the government’s measures to halt the rise in coronavirus infections took to the streets in Frankfurt.

Marie Antoinette's silk shoe goes up for sale in Versailles
World

Marie Antoinette's silk shoe goes up for sale in Versailles

By Christian Hartmann PARIS (Reuters) - A silk shoe that belonged to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France who was executed during the French Revolution, will go up for auction on Sunday - with a starting price of 10,000 euros ($11,800).

Thai king calls for unity after protesters turn back on motorcade
World

Thai king calls for unity after protesters turn back on motorcade

By Juarawee Kittisilpa and Matthew Tostevin BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn told well-wishers of the importance of unity as he marked the opening of a new railway line on Saturday, after thousands of protesters had turned their backs on his motorcade as it passed through central Bangkok. Around 2,500 demonstrators had gathered at the capital's Democracy Monument in the latest of months of protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, demanding changes to the constitution as well as reforms of the monarchy. The protesters draped the centrepiece of the monument, which has become a rallying point for the protests, in a cloth covered in grievances and insults