Saturday, December 5

Merkel does not rule out having to extend the imposed measures

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that cannot now assure you that the new restrictions to tackle the pandemic, including the closure of restaurants and cinemas, they will not be extended beyond the deadline expected initial one month.

At a press conference, Merkel showed Hoping that the restrictions will take effect and a “bearable” December can be had although “of course” with the hygiene and distancing measures in force, but he pointed out that the “determining factor” is the cumulative incidence (AI) at seven days.

Currently this rate is above 120 infections per 100,000 people and the chancellor considered that this figure should be below 50. On November 16, Merkel will meet with the leaders of the 16 federal states to analyze the situation and evaluate what to do with the restrictions.

From this Monday until the end of the month restaurants and bars, cinemas and theaters, gyms and swimming pools will be closed throughout Germany to slow the spread of the pandemic. Commerce and schools, for their part, will remain open.

Likewise, travel is prohibited, remote work is recommended whenever possible and private gatherings are limited to a maximum of ten people from up to two households.

These restrictions are “comprehensive” and “harsh”, considered the chancellor, but “necessary” to contain the coronavirus pandemic and can be a “breakwater” that flattens the curve of new infections.

We are getting closer and closer to the human and structural limits of the healthcare system. No government can allow that, not the German government and I do not want to allow it, “said Merkel, who recalled that the pandemic is” the greatest stress test since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The restrictions force “to do without much of what is good,” acknowledged the chancellor, and advocated avoiding “three out of four contacts.”

After appealing to “reason” and “common sense”, he indicated that his objective with these standards, which are “the soft variant” of what has been implemented in other European countries, is “avoid as much as possible a lockdown.

Merkel wished that Christmas can be celebrated in a way, although with security measures. The chancellor ruled out that large New Year’s Eve parties could be held, but she was hopeful that “the family nucleus” could meet, perhaps with “pre-quarantines.”

“It will be Christmas under the conditions of the coronavirus, but it should not be a lonely Christmas,” he added.

He indicated, regarding the criticism for the economic losses that business closures entail, that the health and economic crises cannot be opposed: “Good management of the pandemic is good for the economy“.

It is necessary, added the chancellor, “to rediscover the balance” between health and economy. “We will save a lot of money if we are reasonable” and the rules of hygiene and distancing, as well as the current temporary restrictions, are largely observed, he said.

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