Chancellor Angela Merkel pleaded Tuesday for the extension until at least March 1 of the partial containment in force in Germany in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, sources close to her party told AFP.
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At a meeting of the parliamentary group of her conservative movement, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she warned against too early relaxation of restrictions which would run the risk “that the number of infections will increase again very quickly ”, according to these sources.
A decision must be taken Wednesday during a meeting with the heads of the regions.
The closures of schools, shops, restaurants, places of culture and leisure have been maintained since mid-December, or even since early November for some sectors. They have made it possible to significantly lower the infection curve in recent weeks but also cause the weariness of the population and the impatience of the economic world.
“We have nothing to gain from a premature exit now from partial confinement”, argued Merkel during this meeting with conservative deputies. Restrictions are scheduled at this point until February 14.
The Chancellor has not ruled out a very gradual reopening of certain sectors from March 1, starting with schools and daycares, retail trade and hairdressers, according to the same sources.
While the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 had politically revived Angela Merkel, thanks to a less strong impact in Germany than in neighboring countries, the new winter wave hits the country head-on and sharpens criticism against of its management a few months before the legislative elections.