The corona pandemic is threatening to spiral out of control. The Federal Government and the German Länder have therefore agreed on new measures to flatten the steep curve.
Nationwide, there are to be drastic restrictions across events, gastronomy and private gatherings — and a lockdown in Berlin similar to the one seen earlier this year. Here’s what was decided.
The draft decision originally planned that the measures would start on 4th November. Now the date for the new lockdown in Berlin is fixed: from 2nd November onwards, severe restrictions will apply nationwide for four weeks.
- Contact restrictions are as they were in the initial phase of the pandemic: A maximum of ten people from two households can meet in public.
- Catering establishments are to close from Monday until the end of November. This applies to pubs, bars and restaurants, for example, but not to canteens. Delivery and out-of-home sales will remain allowed.
- Wholesale and retail outlets will remain open, as will kindergartens and schools.
- Leisure facilities will be largely restricted: These include opera houses, theatres, cinemas, clubs and concert halls. Trade fairs will also be cancelled.
- Entertainment events will be largely prohibited in November.
- Saunas, leisure pools and thermal baths will be closed.
- The population is urged to refrain from travel that is not absolutely necessary and from visiting relatives. Accommodation in Germany will only be provided for necessary non-leisure purposes.
- Facilities, companies and self-employed workers affected by the temporary closures will be supported. Compensation payments of up to 75% of lost income are planned.
On Wednesday, the RKI reported almost 15,000 new infections in one day. The new lockdown in Berlin, which is equivalent to the measures taken at the beginning of the pandemic, should slow the infection rate.
Virologist Christian Drosten argued in his ‘Coronavirus Update’ podcast for a temporary lockdown. Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder also spoke out in favour of more stringent measures before the conference. You can watch Chancellor Merkel’s speech announcing the latest measures and read the full transcript here.
Original article by Christopher Wasmuth
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