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Germany to Go into Lockdown During Christmas and New Year

Germany goes lockdown

Chancellor of Germany - Angela Merkel has announced tough new COVID-19 restrictions for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday season.

Merkel has said stores, schools, and daycare centers will be closed from Wednesday.

The new restrictions will be in effect until at least January 10 to help tackle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to overwhelm the country's health system, according to DW.

Merkel on Sunday announced that Germany urgently needed to address the exponential rise in COVID-19 infections.

What are the new restrictions?

All nonessential shops and services will close until January 10, including hairdressers which remained open under the current lockdown "lite."

Schools are urged to send students home and continue lessons online, as well as extend the winter break until January 10.

Daycare centers will also close, but parents will be able to take paid holidays in order to look after their children.

Employers are encouraged to allow employees to work from home.

People will not be allowed to drink alcohol in public.

Religious events in churches, synagogues and mosques may take place if they follow hygiene rules, but communal singing is not allowed.

States still plan to ease stricter contact restrictions for December 24 to 26 so that close family members can spend Christmas together — a household may, during this time, invite up to four adults from other households but only from the immediate family, plus any number of children under 14.

People may not purchase fireworks for New Year's Eve.

The chancellor also recommended that families who are planning to meet up should isolate for a week beforehand to be safe.

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