Lockdown could last until Easter, says German Medical Association chief

Lockdown could last until Easter, says German Medical Association chief

In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, Germany will go into a tougher lockdown over the holidays. The restrictions will initially apply only until January 10, but the prognosis looks gloomy well into the new year. The President of the German Medical Association has even said that he expects strict measures to remain in place until Easter 2021. 

Top German doctor expects coronavirus restrictions until Easter

Like many others, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, the President of the German Medical Association, expects Germany’s tough coronavirus lockdown to be extended beyond January 10. Montgomery told the Funke media group that model calculations show that the new rules will only bring the seven-day incidence rate under the crucial value of 50 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants by the end of January at the earliest. 

He said that people should therefore prepare for a continuation of the strict rules - and even for the measures to continue, off and on, right through until Easter. “Even if the vaccinations start earlier than expected, the effect will only gradually improve the situation,” he said. 

EMA decision on BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine expected December 21

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Tuesday that it would release its decision on the approval of the BioNTech / Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on December 21, eight days earlier than previously expected. This would allow the first vaccinations to start in the EU by the end of 2020. 

Nonetheless, Montgomery warned against seeing the vaccine as an immediate solution, cautioning politicians to “not rush anything” in the New Year. Instead, he said, the country should “slowly thaw again” after the hard lockdown. If the process goes too quickly, there is a risk that Germany will get caught up in an even bigger wave of coronavirus infections. 

With each new wave, he emphasised, the virus spreads more strongly in the population and then has to be fought with even tougher measures. “We have to avoid a yo-yo effect in the lockdown phases,” he stressed. The leaders of Germany’s federal states are due to meet with Angela Merkel once again on January 5 to discuss next steps. 

Jens Spahn: “Step by step” out of lockdown

Montgomery’s words were echoed by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, who said that, even with the coronavirus vaccination, distance and hygiene rules would remain indispensable for many months to come. “Just because we will start vaccinating very soon after Christmas, that doesn’t mean that all the rules are no longer necessary,” he said. “We will also need these rules well into next year.” 

He emphasised  that the threat of new lockdowns could only be excluded once the vaccination quota of 55 to 65 percent of the German population had been achieved. The first “five million vaccinations” would not be enough. From the summer onwards, he said, Germany could expect a “step by step” return to normalcy. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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