Germany is among the latest large European countries to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions nationwide, alongside France, Germany and the UK as cases rise across the continent.
While this has included shutting down pubs, restaurants, cafes and potentially crowded night venues, the latest restrictions stopped short of school closures or retail outlets. German officials are now signaling to the public that they should brace for more months of “severe” measures to curb the surge in cases, according to Reuters on Sunday:
Germans should brace for another 4-5 months of severe measures to halt the rise in coronavirus infections and should not expect the current rules to be eased quickly, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told weekly Bild am Sonntag.
Germany’s economy minister said the nation should be prepared for a months-long lockdown period to address surging coronavirus caseloads.
Describing that “we’re not out of the woods yet” Altmaier further emphasized that Berlin wants to avoid a “yo-yo shutdown” with the economy “constantly opening and closing”.
“If we don’t want days with 50,000 new infections, as was the case in France a few weeks ago, we must see through this and not constantly speculate about which measures can be relaxed again,” he told a German newspaper over the weekend.
“All countries that lifted their restrictions too early have so far paid a high price in terms of human lives lost,” he added.
Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germans can expect a “more severe” outbreak during the second wave. “As it was the case with the Spanish flu, we now also have to expect that the second wave will be more severe,” she said Wednesday.
As of Sunday Germany is on the cusp of surpassing 800,000 confirmed infections, including over 12,500 deaths, making it the 13th most infected country globally.