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Germany will take new measures if Covid-19 numbers don’t stabilise, Merkel warns

Germany will take new restrictive measures if the number of Covid-19 infections does not stabilise within ten days, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Friday.

“It is the days and weeks to come that will decide the position of Germany facing this pandemic this winter,” she warned during a press conference, recalling the importance of wearing face masks, respect for social distances and ventilation of rooms.

Merkel met on Friday with the mayors of Germany’s 11 biggest cities, against a backdrop of a sharp rise in the number of infections, with more than 4,000 new cases officially recorded every day, a record number since the beginning of April.

“We all see that the big cities, the urban areas, are the places where we will see if we manage to keep the pandemic under control in Germany, as we have done for months, or if we lose control,” Merkel explained.

“We know from the measures already taken, or from what Munich has done, that it takes about ten days to see if the incidence drops,” she added.

If the increase does not stop within 10 days and tracing those infected becomes impossible, “further targeted restrictive measures are inevitable,” Merkel warned.

“Our goal must be to keep infections in one area, where each infection can be tracked, where people can be warned and where it is possible to break the chains of infection again,” the chancellor detailed.

“Things went well this summer, now we see another worrying picture,” she said, stressing the need to “apply and ensure compliance” with measures already taken, such as limiting private gatherings.

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The chancellor stressed the need to maintain free movement in Europe, unlike the spring, when borders were closed across the board.

In response to the worrying trend of infections, several major German cities have imposed a curfew for the catering industry and restrictions on social contacts.

In Berlin, from Saturday and at least until 31 October, most shops and all restaurants and bars will have to close from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

So far, even at the height of the pandemic, Germany has never carried out strict containment, unlike many of its neighbouring countries.

The Brussels Times

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