New restrictions in Germany with cafes and restaurants closed

Germany on Wednesday decided on a new series of restrictions in the face of the spread of the new coronavirus, imposing a month of closure for the gastronomy, culture and leisure sectors.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

The measures, which will come into force on Monday and last until the end of November, will also limit participants in private meetings to 10 people from two households.

Citizens are urged to avoid all unnecessary travel, as accommodation stays are reserved for “non-tourist purposes,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said after discussions with the leaders of the 16 German states.

Like bars, cafes and restaurants, swimming pools and other sporting facilities will be closed while professional competitions will be closed.

Schools and businesses will however be allowed to remain open, said the Chancellor.

To cushion the economic shock, Germany will offer up to € 10 billion in aid to sectors affected by the new measures.

Angela Merkel acknowledged that these were “tough” and “painful” measures, but noted that at the current rate of new infections, “the limits of the health system” were in danger of being reached.

“The curve needs to be flattened again (…) so that contact tracing can be done again,” she said, adding that for three quarters of new infections, officials are no longer able to currently determine where the transmission took place.

New Covid-19 infections recently climbed above 10,000 daily cases, with a new record of 14,964 announced Wednesday by the Robert Koch epidemiological watch institute.

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