Germany approves tougher anti-Covid law, including curfews

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The German government on Tuesday approved a toughening of its infection protection law allowing it to now impose harmonized restrictions across the country to better combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Read also: All the developments of the pandemic

This law gives the state increased powers over regions with which tensions have increased in recent times. So far, measures to combat the coronavirus have been decided laboriously between the government and the Länder, which are responsible for health matters under German federalism.

This project, which has yet to be ratified by the Bundestag, provides that if the incidence, which measures infections over a week, exceeds 100 for three days, the federal state will impose night curfews, reducing contacts between private persons or the closure of stores deemed non-essential, the chancellery told AFP.

Above an incidence of 100, schools will only accept students tested twice a week and they will have to close when the incidence rate exceeds 200.

It is also the first time that nationwide curfews can be imposed automatically in an attempt to stem the epidemic wave.

The other measures confirm the restrictions already in place since the end of 2020 in the country.

This law is a victory for Angela Merkel, a supporter of a strict line to fight the virus. Until now, it had had all the trouble to come to an agreement with certain regional barons who applied with more or less zeal the decisions taken yet with their approval.

While Germany had rather well managed the first epidemic wave last spring, it struggled to stem the second this fall and now the third, marked by the arrival of more contagious variants.

On Tuesday, the incidence over a week was 140.9 for the whole of Germany where 10,810 new infections were identified in 24 hours and 294 deaths, according to the Robert Koch institute (RKI). At the start of the week, the country crossed the symbolic threshold of 3 million Covid-19 infections since the start of the pandemic.

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