Merkel wants to close all bars, restaurants to halt virus spread

Reuters BERLIN | Updated on October 28, 2020

German Chancellor Angela Merkel   -  REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants a meeting with state leaders on Wednesday to agree to close all restaurants and bars from Nov. 4 in a bid to curb coronavirus infections but keep schools and nurseries open, newspaper Bild reported.

It cited a draft resolution as showing Merkel wanted the 16 premiers of the states to agree to close fitness studios, casinos and cinemas along with theatres, opera houses and concert venues but allow shops to remain open if they implement hygiene measures and limit customer numbers.

Restaurants would only be allowed to offer customers takeaways, it said.

The report said the federal government wanted to provide financial aid to firms affected by closures, adding that a concept for this would be presented later on Wednesday.


It also said that people should only be able to go out in public with members of their own household and one other household. It said people would be punished if they did not respect that but did not give further details.

The report said only “necessary and specifically non-tourist” stays overnight would be allowed.

Germany, widely praised for keeping its infection rate well below other major powers in the initial phase of the crisis, now faces a faster than expected surge in cases, with the latest data from Tuesday showing cases increased by 11,409 to 449,275.

Merkel warned on Tuesday that Germany's health system could hit breaking point if coronavirus infections continue to spiral and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Germany was likely to reach 20,000 new infections a day by the end of the week.

Published on October 28, 2020

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