Chancellor Angela Merkel warned today that coronavirus hotspots in Germany will be given 10 days to tackle their rising case numbers before tougher action is taken.
“We all sense that the big cities, the urban areas, are now the arena where we will see if we can keep the pandemic under control in Germany as we have done for months, or if we lose control,” Merkel said after talks with mayors.
“The coming days and weeks will decide how Germany gets through the pandemic this winter.”
Capital Berlin and financial hub Frankfurt both joined a growing list of high-risk zones on Germany’s map this week, after crossing the threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.
Among the new measures that kick in once that level is reached are wider mask requirements, including outdoors in busy areas, as well as earlier closing hours for bars and restaurants and limits on alcohol sales and group sizes, Merkel and the mayors agreed.