Coronavirus: German state plans tough new restrictions

As the number of new coronavirus infections continue to rise in Germany, the southern state of Baden-Württemberg says it will apply stricter lockdown measures starting next week, according to early reports seen by Germany’s dpa news agency.

The measures, discussed Thursday at a regional government meeting in Stuttgart, include a total nighttime curfew, and strict limits on movement during the day, with leaving the house only permitted with “good reason,” such as going to work. 

However, exactly what constitutes a “good reason” for leaving the house must still be specified. Up for discussion is whether to limit shopping only to daily necessities, which means other stores deemed non-essential would for all intents and purposes be off-limits ahead of Christmas. School closings starting next week are also under discussion.

Baden-Württemberg lawmakers will announce the new measures in full on Friday afternoon, after a special cabinet session during which the measures are expected to be adopted.

Tougher measures nationwide?

On Thursday, state Premier Winfried Kretschmann also called for a tough nationwide lockdown from Christmas until January 10, DPA reported.

Germany’s federal and state governments may discuss a tougher nationwide approach this weekend, as the “soft lockdown” adopted in November has failed to bring case numbers down. 

Germany’s reported COVID-19 death toll is still rising sharply, increasing by 440 to 20,372 over the past 24 hours, RKI data showed on Thursday. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Germany increased by 23,679 to 1,242,203, setting a record daily rise, according to the RKI data.

The previous record was an increase of 23,648 reported on November 20.

Europe’s largest economy has been in partial lockdown for six weeks, with bars and restaurants closed but shops and schools open.

On Wednesday, German Chancellor urged the public to cut down on socializing and backed tougher lockdown measures.

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