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World German minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021

10:50  28 november  2020
10:50  28 november  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will probably have to stick with measures to dampen the coronavirus pandemic into January, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany 's 16 federal states late on Wednesday to extend and tighten the coronavirus lockdown until Dec.

Coronavirus: Germany imposes partial lockdown . She said the number of people in intensive care units has doubled in the past 10 days, and that in many areas it was no longer Germany 's relatively strong acceptance of measures up until now may have been key in the low infection and death rates.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's partial lockdown measures could be extended until early Spring if infections are not brought under control, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.

Peter Altmaier wearing a suit and tie: News conference on the government's economic autumn projection in Berlin © Reuters/MICHELE TANTUSSI News conference on the government's economic autumn projection in Berlin

Altmaier told Die Welt it was not possible to give the all-clear while there were incidences of more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in large parts of Germany.

"We have three to four long winter months ahead of us," he was quoted as saying. "It is possible that the restrictions will remain in place in the first months of 2021."

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This week, Germany announced an extension of lockdown measures until December 20. But restrictions are expected to loosen over Christmas, allowing more family members to meet. The cups for mulled wine usually sold at the Christmas market can be purchased online this year, the city says .

On today’s ‘ Lockdown Conversations’ podcast, Sheffield Steelers’ head coach and general manager, Aaron Fox, talks about keeping fit in lockdown to keep his mind healthy, and enjoying lots of family time.

Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany's 16 federal states on Wednesday to extend and tighten measures against the coronavirus until at least Dec. 20.

Germany imposed a "lockdown light" in early November, which closed bars and restaurants but allowed schools and shops to stay open. The measures have stopped the exponential growth of cases but infections have stabilised at a high level.

There were 21,695 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday, bringing total cases since the pandemic began to 1,028,089.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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