German Chancellor Merkel and the heads of the federal states decided to extend the lockdown until April 18 and tighten it during the Easter holidays in light of the sharp increase in the number of infections with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
To tackle the coronavirus pandemic, public, economic, and private life in Germany during Easter should be restricted as much as never before during a pandemic. This was stated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference on Tuesday night, March 23, following a 15-hour meeting with the federal states' heads of government. "The situation is very, very serious," Merkel said.
According to the decision, Holy Thursday and Saturday, April 1 and 3, before Easter, as an exception, were declared days off. At the same time, Good Friday, Easter, and the following Monday are traditionally non-working days in Germany. Thus, "for five days in a row, the principle" we stay at home will be in effect, "the Chancellor emphasized.
Crowds of people in public places are prohibited on Easter.
All outlets will stop working for this period. An exception will be made only on Saturday for grocery stores. The other four days, supermarkets will also be closed. According to the Chancellor's decision and the heads of the federal states, mass gatherings of public places on these five days are entirely prohibited. The German government has urged churches and religious communities to conduct Easter services online. Only the centers for vaccination and testing for coronavirus infection should remain open.
In regions where the index of infections per week exceeds 100 per 100 thousand people, they may tighten restrictions on social contacts, impose restrictions on leaving the house, and oblige to wear medical masks in private cars.
Also, for those traveling on vacation abroad, a general obligation will be introduced to undergo testing before returning. Return to Germany will only be possible with a test.
The German government plans to expand testing of students and teachers in schools and kindergartens "as soon as possible so that they do two tests a week." It is also planned to provide additional financial assistance to firms most severely affected by the pandemic.
Lockdown in Germany is extended until April 18
Lockdown in Germany in light of the surge in infections with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will remain in effect until April 18. Otherwise, the current restrictions will remain. Residents of Germany were urged to keep contacts to the necessary minimum. More than five meetings of two families are allowed, not of children under the age of 14. Employers are instructed to look for opportunities to expand teleworking. Schools and kindergartens will suspend their activities when the rate of new infections over the past seven days is 200 cases per 100 thousand people.
A hard lockdown has been in effect in Germany since December 16, 2020; it has been repeatedly extended and supplemented with new measures. So, in working shops and public transport, only medical masks or FFP2 respirators must be worn. With the onset of spring, efforts began to weaken. Hairdressers have reopened since March 1, book and flower shops, gardening goods stores, beauty salons, driving schools, and pilot schools have reopened since March 8. Museums and galleries are gradually reopening.
More than 4 percent of residents of the Federal Republic of Germany received both vaccinations.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has been detected in 2 667 225 people since its penetration into Germany, of which 74 714 have died. Over 2.42 million have recovered, follows to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Vaccinations in Germany have been going on since the end of December. More than 4 percent of the population have already received both required vaccinations.