Merkel said on Wednesday that the closure would start next Monday and would see restaurants, bars and clubs shutting down in order to “avoid a national health emergency.”
In the past 10 days, she added, the number of intensive care admissions has doubled in Germany. “I want to say what makes the situation particularly dangerous … the deployment rate is particularly high,” she said.
Merkel said that from 2 November, people residing in the country are advised to stay home, avoid travel and “keep their contacts to a minimum.” Social contacts will be limited to two families in public places. Schools and kindergartens will remain open, but they have to take strict hygiene measures to do so.
The procedures will last for four weeks, and will be re-evaluated within two weeks. Although the guidelines are strict, they are less severe than the lockdown imposed this spring, which brought the country to a standstill.
Merkel’s announcement comes after a meeting with leaders of 16 federal states in Germany to discuss the sudden spike in the number of cases in the country, which has seen the states of Bavaria and Frankfurt impose restrictions ranging from curfews to local closures.
The country recorded a record 14,964 new daily infections on Wednesday, according to the country’s disease and control agency, Robert Koch Institute.
The institute’s data showed that the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany now stands at 449,275, and the death toll at 10,098.