In order to tackle a rising number of coronavirus cases, Germany will enter a national lockdown beginning on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel has reported.
Until Jan. 10, non-essential businesses and schools will be closed.
Chancellor Merkel said there was a “urgent need for action” when, after a meeting with the heads of government of the 16 German states, she announced the measure.
The country’s new estimates show 20,200 more infections, taking the number to more than 1.3 million in Germany.
Ms. Merkel told reporters in Berlin, “We are forced to act, and we are acting,”
The restrictions introduced in November failed to reduce the number of new infections significantly, she said.
On Sunday, Germany registered 20,200 newly confirmed cases and 321 additional deaths, a high number for the weekend when no figures were released by many local authorities.
The number of people permitted to assemble indoors remains limited to five, with the exception of Christmas holidays, not including children under 14.
Like the selling of alcohol outdoors, the sale of fireworks, commonly used to celebrate the New Year, will be banned.