MERKEL, Angela
Berlin, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Bundestag. Photo: MTI/EPA/Clemens Bilan

Addressing the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday confirmed the extension of the partial COVID-19 lockdown in the country into December.

“We have without a doubt another difficult few months ahead of us,” stressed Merkel. During the COVID-19 pandemic, “each and every one of us can actively contribute so that we can get through this time well.”

Following rising COVID-19 infection rates in the country, the federal and state governments decided on Wednesday that the partial lockdown, including the closure of restaurants, bars, theaters and leisure facilities, would be extended until Dec. 20.

Furthermore, private meetings with friends and families are limited to five people from two households, according to the government.

An exception would be made during the Christmas holidays, when gatherings with relatives or friends should be limited to ten people.

Merkel urged her compatriots again to avoid any unnecessary social contact and travel. In light of the approaching ski season, Merkel argued that ski resorts could turn into coronavirus “super-spreading” hotspots and should thus all be closed.

“We will try to reach an agreement in Europe”

on this, she said. However, she added that this will not be easy.

With Germany’s current measures, which were introduced at the beginning of November, the “dramatic exponential growth” of new COVID-19 infections had been stopped, but the figures were still “too high,” said Merkel.

On Thursday, the number of new COVID-19 infections in Germany increased by 22,268 cases in one day to a total of 983,588, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

The daily fatality rate related to COVID-19 also remained high and increased by 389 in 24 hours to a total of 15,160, according to the RKI. The highest level to date was recorded on Wednesday, when the previous peak of 315 COVID-19 deaths from the first wave of infections in spring was exceeded.

The goal is to reduce the number of infections to enable local health authorities to once again trace and break infection chains, and to reach an incidence rate of less than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, according to the government.

“Right now, because we think so much about Christmas and the turn of the year ahead, I wish, and I wish all of us, that we stand up for each other more than ever,” Merkel said. “If we take this to heart, we will get out of this crisis,” she added.

Read alsoU.S. sets new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations for 15th consecutive day

  1. When she speaks, people should lisen and learn, from that experience.
    Merkel, is right on this, the closing down of ski resorts across the European Union.
    Ski Resorts would become super spreader hot spots, and reverse, the encouraging trends, that new case numbers of this deadly novel virus, have stabilized and are displaying encouraging indication, that they could be on the decline.

  2. The citizens of the European Union are calling for the closure of Merkel. That traitor to the people of Germany needs some duct tape applied to her mouth to muffle the sound. Going skiing hurts no one unless the hit a tree. That old windbag needs to hurry up and retire.

  3. Ski resorts hot spots? WOW, you really have to be a universal idiot to make a statement like that. If there is any place where people are NOT packed together, then it is on a ski piste! The bar and restaurants can be closed, that would be the only place to ban.
    That SS Merkel still believes she runs the EU and can decide for everyone!

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