Germany decides to extend partial lockdown and curtail private gatherings | DW News Arabia | Breaking news and perspectives from around the world | DW

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The prime minister of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Rainer Hasilov, said after a day of talks between state and federal officials that the partial lockdown in Germany to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus will be extended until December 20.

This comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Wednesday evening (November 25, 2020) reducing the maximum number of private gatherings between friends, relatives and acquaintances to five people, with a maximum of one or two residents. Children as young as 14 years old will be exempt from this rule.

But this rule will be relaxed during the Christmas period, according to the paper agreed upon by Merkel and the heads of state government, as the number of people allowed to gather will increase to a maximum of ten, between December 23 and January 1 of 2021.

However, the state of Schleswig-Holstein decided not to apply this relaxation and to stick to its rules currently in force.

Merkel’s announcement came after consultations with heads of state governments to discuss developments in the Corona epidemic and how to deal with the situation in the subsequent period. The Chancellor also agreed with heads of state government to grant financial aid to companies affected by the extension of the partial closure period until a short period before Christmas.

The German News Agency reported on Tuesday that the federal government plans to provide new financial aid of 17 billion euros to companies affected by the closure next month, and this aid will be allocated to companies affected by the temporary closure, such as bars, restaurants, cultural and entertainment institutions, in addition to self-employed.

The government provided financial aid to companies affected by the partial closure this month, and opened the door to apply for this aid today with the aim of compensating companies for their revenue losses. This month’s aid amounts to 15 billion euros.

The federal government and state governments in Germany also intend to recommend that citizens give up fireworks on New Year’s Day, as Merkel agreed with heads of state government to ban fireworks in crowded squares and streets in order to prevent large gatherings.

It is expected that the local authorities, in accordance with this decision, will determine the squares and streets concerned, and public events to set off fireworks will be prohibited.

Before the consultations, states governed by Merkel’s Christian Social Alliance had objected to a ban on selling fireworks for the New Year, unlike states governed by the Social Democrats.

UAE / YA (DPA)





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