German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 governors are largely extending the country’s coronavirus lockdown until March 7 amid concern that new virus variants could reverse a decline in new confirmed cases.
After Ms Merkel met with governors in a video conference, the government released their agreement on Wednesday.
It says there will be some exceptions made during the extended lockdown, including allowing hairdressers to reopen their businesses on March 1, albeit with strict hygiene regulations.
Germany’s second lockdown began in November and was extended and toughened before Christmas due to concern that the number of Covid-19 patients could overwhelm hospitals.
It had been set to end on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute reported the country had 8,072 new virus cases and 813 deaths in 24 hours.
In all, Germany has seen over 63,000 confirmed virus deaths during the pandemic.
The weekly number of newly infections has dropped to 68 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The government’s goal is to push the number below 50 to enable reliable contact-tracing.
It peaked at nearly 200 just before Christmas.
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