Bavarian Prime Minister calls for a summit on COVID-19 restrictions before Christmas

BERLIN (Reuters) – The prime minister of southern Bavaria said on Monday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders should meet before Christmas to discuss tougher measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

File photo: A worker wearing a protective face mask cleans chairs outside a restaurant, after residents of the Berchtesgadener Land region in Bavaria will not be able to leave their homes from October 20, 2020, without good reason for two weeks, making it the first area in Germany to return to lockdown since April Reuters / Leonard Voyager, in Berchtesgaden, Germany, October 20, 2020

Bavaria, which has so far recorded the highest death toll from the virus in Germany, announced on Sunday that it will impose a tougher lockdown, and Marcus Sweder told ARD TV that current national measures are still insufficient.

“I’m sure we’ll meet again before Christmas, because one thing is still clear: the current system alone is not enough,” Sudhir said.

“We have to think about whether it makes sense to wait until January 10. We need to act and I think it will be better sooner rather than later.”

While daily infections are no longer rising as sharply as they used to be, it has stagnated at a high level and Germany reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths in a single day on Wednesday.

On Monday, data from the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases showed that the number of confirmed cases rose by 12,332 in the past 24 hours to 1,183,655, with the number of reported deaths increasing from 147 to 18919.

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Merkel’s chief of staff also called for another summit of state and federal leaders before Christmas to discuss measures to reduce the number of infected people to less than 50 per 100,000 within seven days as soon as possible.

People should try to limit communications and speak out in favor of moving to distance learning for some of the older kids in the coronavirus hotspots, Helge Brown told Bild.

Merkel and state leaders agreed last week to extend national restrictions, which include restricting private gatherings to five people from two families, until January 10.

Starting Wednesday, Bavaria will only allow people to leave their homes with good cause, while evening curfews are planned in hotspots with higher infection rates.

Report from Caroline Copley. Edited by David Goodman

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