In yet another attempt to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus, Germany announced new measures. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the federal states would implement them very soon.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a new set of restrictions the country’s federal states will implement “very soon”. The new guidelines are supposed to make sure people are not in close contact that much anymore. Berlin is hoping the rules will help to slow down the Coronavirus in Germany, where more than 7,000 cases have been confirmed by now.
Prayer Services to be Banned
Merkel said gatherings at churches, mosques and synagogues, including prayer services, would be banned. Bars and clubs needed to close. The same applied to operas, concert venues, theaters, trade fairs, cinemas, zoos, gambling halls, casinos, brothels, sports clubs, gyms and public swimming pools. Some federal states, including Berlin and Hamburg, had already closed these establishments before Merkel’s announcement.
Hotels are not supposed to be used for touristic purposes anymore. Only “necessary” overnight stays would be allowed. Merkel stressed the restrictions were based on what scientists had told the government. “Incisive measures” of this kind had not been taken in Germany before, the Chancellor stated, but they were necessary, also because the number of infected persons had risen again this past weekend.
Restrictions for Restaurants
Merkel also said supermarkets, other food shops, beverage stores, gas stations and convenience stores would not be closing. Neither would banks, hairdressers, drug stores and pharmacies. Service providers and craftsmen will be allowed to offer their services as well. Merkel stated food stores might be allowed to open on Sundays too, which is usually not the case in Germany.
Restaurants will be allowed to open, but with new restrictions. Tables need to be set up with a distance of at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) between them, and they need to close by 6 p.m..
Playgrounds to be Closed
Other countries in the European Union have implemented similar rules and bans, including France and Spain, but also smaller countries like Bulgaria. In Sofia, police officers and security guards have been making sure not too many people entered supermarkets at the same time since Saturday.
Playgrounds in Germany are supposed to be closed as well. Observers believe this rule might be hard to enforce because there are so many playgrounds in Germany, and due to the fact that they are mostly out in the open. Visits at hospitals were restricted too.
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