In an attempt to reduce stubbornly elevated illness and death rates, Germany is expanding its nationwide coronavirus lockout by three weeks. Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional officials have since decided to tighten some constraints, including bans on social interactions and limitations on the mobility of residents in the worst affected areas. The most recent official estimates from Germany, showing over 21,000 new illnesses and a thousand deaths, underscored the urgency of the crisis.
Private meetings will be limited to family members and only one other person
Where infections are high, people are advised to stay 15 kilometers from home.
Schools & several stores will stay closed, and anyone entering from outside Germany will require a corona screening and must be in quarantine for at least 5 days.
Restricting travel in hotspots of infection could deter scenes such as those on the weekend from repeating, where hundreds of people defied police alerts and left for ski slopes.
So far, though, it is not clear if all the new regulations can be applied.
The vaccine now depends on optimism for success in rolling back the pandemic. New vaccines are planned to be accepted, but several months are required before enough people are immunized.
Germans face a longer lockdown for the time being, with no clarification as to when it could be removed