Angela Merkel fails to push through new coronavirus restrictions
German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to push through tighter restrictions during her meeting with state premiers on Monday afternoon. The leaders could only agree on an appeal to people in Germany to limit social contacts.
No new restrictions in Germany, only appeals
Speaking after Monday’s video summit, Angela Merkel confirmed that she and the heads of the country’s 16 federal states had failed to agree on any new lockdown measures, but would be meeting again on November 25 to reassess the situation. According to Merkel, state leaders were opposed to a tightening of restrictions before next week.
“I could have imagined imposing further restrictions today, but there was no majority for that,” she said, adding that next week’s restrictions should go further and apply for a longer period of time. “We need to further restrict to reach our goals,” she emphasised.
The states could only agree upon an appeal for citizens to avoid private parties and unnecessary trips, refrain from taking public transport, and stay at home at the first sign of any cold-like symptoms. From December onwards, the government will also offer reduced-price FFP2 masks to risk groups including the elderly, the sick, or those with pre-existing conditions.
Coronavirus case numbers are stabilising, but too slowly
Earlier in the day, a proposal drafted by Merkel’s office had called for a range of tougher restrictions, including a ban on private parties until Christmas, reduced class sizes and masks in schools and a ban on gatherings involving more than two households.
Merkel acknowledged that coronavirus case numbers in Germany “were stabilising, but too slowly” to justify easing restrictions. She emphasised this again later on Monday, stressing that the country was “a big step removed” from the target infection rate of 50 per 100.000 residents. “We still have a long way to go,” the chancellor said.