New Delhi (NVI): Germany extended its lockdown measures by another month and imposed several new restrictions, in an effort to drive down the rate of coronavirus infections.
The restrictions previously set to run through March 28 will now remain in place until April 18.
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the measures today, nearly three weeks after the government last agreed on a plan paving the way to relax some rules.
Since then, infections have increased steadily as the more contagious variant first detected in Britain has become dominant.
Merkel urged the citizens to stay at home during the festive season of Easter.
Moreover, the German Chancellor pushed the leaders of Germany’s 16 states to take a tougher stance to fight the pandemic.
Officials have agreed to largely shut down public life from April 1-3, adding a public holiday and shutting down most stores for the period. Public gatherings will be banned from April 1-5, to encourage people to stay at home.
Amid concern over the rise in Germans traveling abroad on holidays, authorities also agreed on a blanket requirement for air travelers to be tested for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to Germany.
The number of cases in Germany has more than doubled to about 13,000 per day from 6,000 in mid-February.