Germany extended the general lockdown for three weeks, It imposed an almost complete moratorium during the Easter holiday in response to the outbreak of a third wave of infections with the Coronavirus.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after holding talks with regional governors that the current measures would continue to be in place until April 18.
The authorities will impose tighter restrictions between April 1 and 5, when most shops are closed and restrictions on gatherings are imposed.
Merkel said Germany was now facing a “very dangerous” situation.
“The number of injuries is increasing dramatically, and the intensive care beds are not available again,” Merkel said at a press conference held Tuesday.
Coronavirus infections are on the rise in Europe in recent weeks, as countries race to vaccinate their populations despite the delay in introducing appropriate vaccines.
The rate of infection with the Coronavirus has risen above 100 per 100,000 people in Germany. An additional 7,485 cases were recorded
In the past 24 hours, an addition to 250 deaths.
And in neighboring Poland, the number of infections has more than tripled. The intensive care departments in French hospitals received 471 people within 24 hours, while reports indicate that 15,792 people were admitted to hospitals.
Announcing the imposition of new restrictions, Merkel said that the mutated and highly contagious strain of the Corona virus that appeared in the “Kent” region of the United Kingdom had spread in Germany, which made the country slide into what was called a “new epidemic.”
“We basically have a new virus. It is much more deadly compared to other strains and much more infectious compared to other strains, and infections last longer,” the German chancellor added.
She went on to say that Germany was in a race against time to introduce vaccines against the Corona virus.
The general lockdown announced Tuesday marks a waiver of measures announced earlier this month, when state governors agreed to start a cautious process to resume life normally.
What are the other procedures?
These measures, such as closing sports facilities, will remain in effect until April 18.
Germans are then required to stay home for five days starting April 1 during Easter and to reduce communications:
Abolishing religious services that require personal attendance
Banning large family gatherings, provided that the attendance is not more than two families, or allowing a maximum of five people to meet
• All shops are closed, except for those selling foodstuffs, on Saturday, April 3.
The “emergency brake” will stop the reopening of stores in areas with more than 100 new cases for every 100,000 people within seven days.
Alarm bell in Poland
Poles can now only enter Germany if tests prove they do not have COVID-19. Thousands of Poles enter Germany every day to work.
It is noteworthy that Poland is one of the countries of the European Union hit by the epidemic in light of the outbreak of the third wave of the Corona virus, as it stated that it recorded new infections amounting to 14,578 on Monday, that is, it increased by 34 percent compared to last week.
UK health officials say the British strain accounts for 80 per cent of new cases.
The introduction of vaccines in European Union countries remains slow, meaning that it is a far cry from the vaccinations achieved by Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Part of the reason for the delay is supply problems related to the Oxford Astra-Zinca vaccine, which are now at the heart of political tensions between the UK and the European Union over the company’s contractual obligations.
The European Union is now considering banning the export of the Oxford vaccine Astra-Zinca, which is produced in Europe. European Union officials complain that a large portion of vaccines are held by the UK and other countries, not European Union countries.
Reuters news agency said that Hungary has become the first country in the European Union to adopt the use of the Chinese “Cansino Biologics” vaccine against the Corona virus and the Coffeeshield vaccine, which is an Indian version of the AstraZenka vaccine.
European Union members were allowed to conclude separate deals with vaccine manufacturers, which did not sign agreements with the European Union. Hungary is already using the Sinopharm vaccine and the Russian Sputnik vaccine.
The European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s watchdog, has so far approved the vaccines VASER-Biontec, Moderna and AstraZeneca.