Germany will have to impose tougher coronavirus restrictions before Christmas to try to get the pandemic under control, ministers and regional leaders said on Friday (December 11), as Baden-Wuerttemberg became the latest state to impose a night curfew.
The country has been in partial lockdown for six weeks, with bars and restaurants closed but shops and schools open.
Some regions have already imposed tougher measures, and more and more state leaders threw their weight behind a nationwide lockdown as daily numbers of new infections and deaths hit new records.
The town of Senftenberg in the eastern state of Brandenburg is one of Germany’s new coronavirus hotspots, with local media saying the number of coronavirus patients currently being treated at the Niederlausitz clinic is fifteen times as high as in the autumn.
In Nuremberg, Health Minister Jens Spahn visited a large hall being set up as a vaccination center, one of more than 400 across the country.
Spahn called for “additional, country-wide regulations, better sooner than later.”
Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder added “we must shut down public life.”
People in Baden-Wuerttemberg, in southwest Germany, will be banned from Saturday from going outside between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for work and essential reasons and will also be encouraged to stay at home during the day, state premier Winfried Kretschmann said on Friday.
Since Wednesday, people in Bavaria have been allowed to leave home only for essential reasons, while Berlin wants to close shops and extend the school Christmas holidays.
Daily new coronavirus infections climbed to nearly 30,000, while the daily death toll was almost 600, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.