A public park in Berlin. Citizens are enjoined to reduce contact with other people other than members of their own household to an absolute minimum/Photo: Thabo Thindi

Coronavirus: New restrictions on everyday life in Germany

Restrictions on everyday life in Germany have again been tightened significantly as the federal government announced a new set of nationwide measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The chancellor and the prime ministers of the 16 federal states agreed on the new package of measures at a conference call on Sunday and it includes new regulations on social distancing and the immediate closure of restaurants and businesses such as hair-dressers, cosmetic, massage and tattoo studios. The measures, announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Sunday and which will be in force for two weeks, are:

  1.  People are enjoined to reduce contact with other people other than members of their own household to an absolute minimum.
  2.  In public, wherever possible you must keep a minimum distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people – excepting members of your household.
  3.  Public gatherings of more than two people is banned. That is, you are only allowed to be with another person who is not a member of your household in the public. There are exceptions for families and those living together.
  4.  Going to work, for emergency care, for shopping, to visit the doctor, for participation in meetings, for necessary appointments and exams, to render help to others or for individual sports and exercise in the fresh air and other necessary activities are allowed.
  5.  Gathering of people in public places, in apartments and private facilities are not allowed given the serious situation in our country. Violations of the social contact restrictions will be monitored by the regulatory authorities and the police and sanctioned in the event of violations.
  6.  Restaurants are closed. This does not apply to the delivery and collection of take-away meals for consumption at home.
  7.  Businesses in the field of personal care such as hairdressers, cosmetic studios, massage practices, tattoo studios and similar service providers are closed because physical proximity cannot be avoided in this area. Medically necessary treatments remain possible.
  8.  In all companies and especially those with public visitors, it is important to comply with the hygiene regulations and to implement effective protective measures for employees and visitors.
  9.  These measures should be valid for at least two weeks.

The Chancellor urged the country’s inhabitants to comply with the directives. “Show reason and heart,” said Merkel while praising those who have been following public instructions and recommendations since the beginning of the crisis.

The measures, which are general guidelines, will be implemented by the federal states through local edicts which will specify sanctions for violators.

Germany is one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus, with 18,610 confirmed cases and 55 deaths as of 22 March 2020, according to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s centre for disease control.

© The African Courier

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