Containment in Germany: Merkel maintains the pressure until early January

Be careful in Germany. Angela Merkel spoke on Wednesday evening on the fight against Covid-19. The restrictive measures have been extended, and even tightened on certain points.

The country is not yet experiencing signs of decline as in France even if its various indicators are generally lower than those observed in France. “We still have to make efforts (…) the number of daily infections is still at a much too high level,” said the Chancellor after more than seven hours of discussions with the leaders of the 16 states regional German.

The restrictions decided at a previous meeting in November will therefore continue to apply “until the beginning of January, unless we have an unexpected decrease in the infection rate but that is unlikely at this stage”, Ms. Merkel explained.

Daily mortality still on the rise

The rate of infection in Germany thus reached 139.6 per 100,000 inhabitants on Wednesday (151 in France today). And 195.3 in the capital, Berlin, far from the target of 50/100 000.

Germany had 961,320 officially declared cases of Covid-19 (+18,633 in 24 hours) and 14,771 deaths (+410, new record) on Wednesday, according to the Robert Koch health watch institute.

Curve of Covid-19 cases identified every day in France and Germany

Our World in Data

The daily mortality curve continues to climb even if it is still well below the plateau reached a few days ago in France.

Curve of deaths due to Covid-19 recorded every day in France and Germany

Our World in Data
Our World in Data

Bars, restaurants, cultural venues and sports clubs should therefore remain closed for more than a month. Access to stores will also be restricted, with a limited number of customers depending on their size. We go to a client for 20 m2 instead of 10 m2 so far.

Maximum five people in private

The gauge is also down in private gatherings (five people from two households maximum instead of ten). The only easing granted by the German leaders: private meetings can reach 10 people from December 23 to January 1, children under 14 not included.

Firecrackers and fireworks, very popular with Germans at Christmas time, will be banned in the busiest squares and streets.

The schools will remain open until the holidays, on December 19, also provides for the text negotiated by the Chancellor and the 16 Länder and sent to the press.

Merkel against ski stays until January 10 … across the EU

Finally, Merkel urged the Germans not to go abroad during the Christmas holidays, in particular for ski holidays. The federal government and the regions will therefore ask the European Union to ban ski stays until January 10 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Bavaria, very popular with German skiers, had anticipated this warning by announcing Tuesday the closure of its stations at Christmas. But neighboring Austria is on another line and plans to open its tracks.

Austria is still considered by Germany as a risk territory where the virus is actively circulating. One of its busiest stations, Ischgl, had also been a major source of contamination last winter, infecting tourists from several European countries.

Asked about the approach that Germany will take to the EU, the Chancellor admitted, however, that it was not won. “I’ll be honest with you, it probably won’t be easy, but we’ll try,” she said at a press conference.