Germany will move to a “partial lockdown” in November to control the spread of COVID-19, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin following a video conference with the premiers of federal states, Merkel said they agreed on new measures amid a surge in the number of new cases.
“We must act, and we must act quickly,” Merkel said, adding that if they are unable to stabilize rising infections, Germany’s health system will reach its limit within weeks.
New restrictions on public and social life will take effect from Nov. 2, and will last for at least four weeks, she said.
According to the new measures, cafes and restaurants will be ordered to close apart from deliveries and takeaways. Hotels will not be allowed to accommodate tourists.Cultural and leisure facilities will also be closed for at least four weeks.
Merkel said social gatherings will be restricted to 10 participants from a maximum of two different households.
Schools and kindergartens will remain open, but local authorities will take measures to ensure compliance with social distancing and hygiene rules.
On Wednesday, Germany reported 14,964 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day toll since the pandemic began.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units has doubled over the past two weeks, reaching 1,470 on Tuesday. Six hundred and eighty eight of them were on ventilators.
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