Foreign

Germany braces for costly extended shutdown, hopes to save Christmas

Published

on

Germany is all but certain to extend its coronavirus shutdown into next month, prompting the government to set aside around 17 billion Euros in financial aid for businesses hit by forced closures in December, sources said on Tuesday.

The country brought back nationwide closures and restrictions at the start of November in response to a surging second wave of coronavirus infections.

On Wednesday, when Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with the country’s 16 state premiers, these measures are expected to be extended.

A draft proposal is expected to be penned by the regional leaders and suggests prolonging the partial lockdown until Dec. 20, while setting out a special plan for the Christmas period in the hopes that families can still celebrate the holiday together in limited groups.

It calls for members of one household to be allowed to meet with up to 10 other people from other households from Dec. 23 until Jan. 1.

Children aged under 14 will be excluded from the rule.

The state premiers are also appealing to people to undergo a period of self-isolation prior to Christmas for a few days, in a bid to prevent infection at holiday gatherings.

Employers and schools would be urged to show flexibility to allow people to stay at home in the run-up to Christmas.

The states also want fireworks to be banned in busy public spaces, hemming in a popular way of ringing in the New Year in Germany.

A final decision on Germany’s next steps in the pandemic is to be made during the talks with Merkel on Wednesday, after which each state administration will be responsible for enacting the measures in its region.

The current November shutdown forced the closure of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities, while bringing back a two-household limit for gatherings.

So far, the German government had already promised support to affected businesses with around 14-15 billion euros this month.

The aid is designed to reimburse lost revenue.

The application process for claimants is expected to begin over the course of this week.

December might bring with it even stricter limits on socialising.

The 16 states are pushing for a tightening of the rule for gatherings from Dec. 1, under which no more than five people could meet from two households.

Again, children would be excluded.

A decision on whether to roll out mask-wearing in school classrooms is also expected on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for disease control added another 13,554 infections to its confirmed caseload, which now amounts to 942,687 cases in the pandemic so far.

The coronavirus-related death toll increased by 249 to reach 14,361.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Okara
(NAN)

Fatima Sule

Fatima Sule: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

Latest News

Africa's top business leaders to participate in awards to celebrate India's republic day to independence day Register to hear Musa Kalenga on leapfrogging tech in Africa at #BizTrends2021 Unstoppable Paule Ella Guei honoured with Sports+ Award Her Excellency Fatoumata CM Jallow Tambajang and her commitment to serve the people of Africa Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (25 January 2021) Coronavirus – Gambia: COVID-19 update (25 January 2021) Kenya adopts Trusted Travel digital tool for COVID-19 test result verification Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 25 January 2021, 9 am EAT Coronavirus – Uganda: COVID-19 update (24 January 2021) Beyond COVID: Prioritizing NTD agenda and sustainable local financing International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) announces the launching of the 2nd phase of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS 2.0) in June 2021 to Mitigate the Effects of COVID-19 on Trade in the Arab Region Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 24 January 2021, 6 pm EAT New Report on African media shows western sources dominate how the Africa story is told Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 update (24 January 2021) Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (24 January 2021) Coronavirus – Zambia: COVID-19 update (24 January 2021) Sudan kicks off second response campaign against polio outbreak Rugby Africa announces competition program and calendar for 2021 Coronavirus – Eswatini: COVID-19 update (24 January 2021) Situation in Central African Republic II: Mahamat Said Abdel Kani surrendered to the ICC for crimes against humanity and war crimes Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (24 January 2021) Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update (24 January 2021) Community health workers must be better supported in 2021, the Year of the Healthcare Worker Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Coronavirus – Uganda: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Vision of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat for the term of office 2021-2024 Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Coronavirus – Zambia: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (23 January 2021) Coronavirus – Gambia: The variant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus first detected in the United Kingdom has been identified during sequencing in positive specimens at the National Public Health Laboratory Services Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio launches the Sierra Leone Health Village, turns Sod for the Construction of Ultra-Modern General Hospital at Kerry Town Devastation feared as Eloise approaches Mozambique Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Coronavirus – Eswatini: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Football: Ahmad’s old guards maintain West’s stranglehold on Confederation of African Football (CAF) Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Coronavirus – Zambia: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021) Frightened Residents brace as Cyclone Eloise approaches Mozambique Coronavirus: COVAX announces new agreement, plans for first deliveries Coronavirus – Seychelles: India gifts Seychelles with COVISHIELD vaccines Coronavirus – Namibia: COVID-19 Update 22 January 2021 Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio inspects Agricultural Machinery at the Agriculture Central Stores in Freetown Coronavirus – Uganda: COVID-19 update (22 January 2021)