Germany Orders Most Restrictive COVID Lockdown Yet Over Easter Weekend
We noted yesterday that Chancellor Angela Merkel had succeeded in persuading the leaders of Germany's 16 states to agree to another extension of the federal lockdown. And while initial reports about Merkel's proposal noted that Germans would receive a reprieve allowing them to spend the Easter holiday with family, apparently, the government appears to have changed its mind again and decided to tighten restrictions to the toughest point yet during a brief stretch coinciding with the Easter holiday weekend to try to defuse a “third wave” of Covid-19 infections fueled by faster-spreading mutations.
All but the most important services will be closed during the lockdown period, according to RT. Noting that the country is in a "race" to combat the pandemic, Merkel outlined the nationwide shutdown during a news conference early on Tuesday, saying that not only will existing restrictions be extended to April 18, but that most businesses will be made to close their doors for at least five days beginning on the first of the month (just before the April 4 holiday) in what appears to be the most restrictive lockdown in Germany since the start of the pandemic.
In addition to the restrictive business closures, Germans will be prohibited from holding private gatherings of more than five adults from two different households, while all travel abroad will be strongly discouraged. Even churches have been asked to hold only virtual services during that time, even on Easter itself.
While other European governments rolled back lockdown measures as cases plunged earlier this year, Germany has been in some form of partial lockdown for almost a full year. Several states even announced closures before any nationwide measures were implemented last March.