January 6th – German Chancellor Merkel announced that the blockade measures throughout Germany will be extended until the end of January, and stricter restrictions will be implemented to control the growing number of COVID-19 infections.
According to CNN on the 5th, after meeting with 16 local heads, Merkel told reporters that Germany must strengthen measures.
“We need to strictly restrict crowd contact and require all Germans to maintain only minimal contact.” Merkel warned that hospitals across Germany are already overwhelmed, especially in intensive care units.
Under the new measures, all non-essential shops, restaurants, schools and nurseries will be required to close until January 31. People are allowed to meet with others other than their families, but parties of more than five people from two families are prohibited.
More stringent measures will be taken to limit non-essential travel to 15 km, Merkel announced that towns and districts now have more than 200 cases per 100,000 people diagnosed in seven days.
Passengers returning to Germany from high-risk countries, whether the first virus test result is negative or not, must undergo two virus tests and be forced to quarantine for five days after returning.
Speaking of the more contagious mutant coronavirus first discovered in the UK, Merkel said it must be “scrambling against the clock” for Germany.
Although the epidemic prevention measures are the strictest since the outbreak of the epidemic, and most of the German people also abide by the epidemic prevention regulations of wearing masks indoors and maintaining social distancing, the epidemic in Germany still shows no sign of improvement.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national epidemic prevention authority, 12,690 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported on January 2 alone.
Merkel reiterated that the coronavirus vaccine brings “hope that normal life can be restored”. Merkel said that despite criticism, Germany supported the European Commission’s decision to buy vaccines for all 27 member states.
The report pointed out that EU countries launched vaccination work simultaneously on December 27, 2020, vaccinated against the vaccine developed by the German biotechnology company BioNTech and Pfizer of the United States.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany had 310,000 people vaccinated as of Tuesday (5th), accounting for about 0.4% of the country’s population; at the same time, 11,897 new confirmed cases and 944 new deaths on that day.