Germany announces lockdown as COVID-19 surges

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) takes off her mask after a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.
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Germany will impose an emergency month-long lockdown that includes the closure of restaurants, gyms and theatres to reverse a spike in coronavirus cases that risks overwhelming hospitals, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

Effective November 2, private gatherings will be limited to 10 people from a maximum of two households. Restaurants, bars, theatres, cinemas, pools and gyms will be shut and concerts cancelled.

Professional sports events will be allowed to be held only without spectators. People will be asked not to travel for private, non-essential reasons, and overnight stays in hotels will be available only for necessary business trips.

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Under the new measures, schools and daycare centres will remain open, as will shops, so long as they stick to social distancing and hygiene rules.

Merkel and Germany’s 16 state government leaders will reconvene two weeks into the partial lockdown to assess the effectiveness of the measures.

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