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Germany: Spahn Says Tighter Corona Restrictions Might Be Necessary

In Germany, where two federal states have already tightened their Corona rules, another one might do so soon. Health Minister Spahn says stricter measures could be implemented in the entire country.

Berlin, December 8th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — Corona situations change all the time. For instance, Saxony used to be a model state with low infection numbers. Now it is a problem state which needs to act because of high numbers. First Minister Michael Kretschmer announced stricter rules had become necessary.

Decisions on Friday

According to the ‘Freie Presse’ daily, the new restrictions will be put in place next week and remain until January 10th, 2021. The paper reported, the new rules would possibly be implemented next Monday, while the ‘Bild’ tabloid says even retail businesses could be closed in Saxony, except for supermarkets and other vital shops.

Several German-language media quoted a government spokesman who declined to confirm shop closures. In Dresden, the capital of Saxony, the federal state’s government might take decisions on Friday.

Short and Strict

Two other states, Berlin and Bavaria, already have tighter measures than the rest of Germany. Most of the country will be easing the contact restrictions for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. While Bavaria threw the easements for December 31st overboard, Berlin is the only state which dumped the ones for Christmas too. For now.

Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn conceded that tighter restrictions might be necessary if the high Corona infection numbers do not decrease soon. He told Phoenix TV, short lockdowns with very strict rules were probably more successful than long lockdowns with less strict ones.

Lauterbach Wants Extended Vacations

If the development in the next one to two weeks was not satisfactory, a tightening of the rules would have to be discussed, Spahn stated. He did not rule out a closure of retail businesses, but this would depend on the question whether a decrease of the infection numbers could be reached or not.

Because of the high numbers, more and more politicians in Berlin believe tighter rules cannot be avoided. For the SPD, its health expert Karl Lauterbach said the Christmas vacations for schools should be extended to four week. He told the ‘Rheinische Post’ daily, schoolkids should be sent home next week and return to school in the second week of January.

More than 14,000 New Cases

Lauterbach said retail businesses needed to be closed after Christmas. He also supports a tightening of the rules for New Year’s Eve. Germany should not get used to 500 Corona-related deaths per day, he stated.

The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin says 14,054 new Corona cases had been reported in the past 24 hours. That number is a bit higher than the one published last Tuesday. After the weekends, the numbers are usually lower because of reporting delays.

In Berlin, 16 Corona-related deaths within 24 hours were reported. The number of Corona patients who are being treated at the German capital’s hospitals is still high. Berlin’s Seven Day Incidence Number dropped to a level below 200 a week ago. It stands at 186.1. Five out of twelve districts are still above 200. They are Spandau, Mitte, Reinickendorf, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Neukölln.

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