Given the worsening of the health situation, the closure of non-essential shops is decreed and the closure of schools and nurseries. The Christmas gatherings will be of five people.
Germany enters into rigid confinement from this Wednesday until January 10, which will be the most significant blow to public life and commercial activity taken in this country against the coronavirus pandemic since its outbreak. Thus, the Germans pay the bill for the delay. The federal states have reacted to the unstoppable advance of Covid-19 and the premonitory warnings - and the last of them dramatic - from Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In 48 hours, all non-essential commercial activity must close, all businesses except pharmacies, opticians, drugstores, gas stations, banks, supermarkets and postal services. The sale and consumption of alcohol in public places is prohibited, and the sale of pyrotechnics, with which the New Year is welcomed in this country.
Meetings are restricted to a maximum of five people from two households, not counting children under 14 years of age. Religious services must be held with extreme hygiene and safety measures. There will be no songs, and the use of masks will be mandatory. Nursing homes will be shielded.
Weekly PCR Tests
In regions with a high incidence of Covid-19, visits to the elderly will be prohibited, and all personnel working in these centers will undergo a PCR test once a week.
The lengthy catalog of restrictions approved at the extraordinary conference held today by the Federal Government and the Länder also includes the advancement of school holidays or, failing that, lifting the compulsory nature of classroom attendance.
"If we do not act like this, we will become Europe's greatest concern," Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder declared after Merkel's conference with her regional peers, the only one who has openly supported the hard line that the Chancellor has tried to open since September.
In the middle of that month, Merkel asked the Länder for drastic measures to save Christmas. Otherwise, she warned, it would reach 20,000 infections a day, and that would mean confinement. These are the figures that Germany currently registers, to which are added some 500 deaths a day. "One every three minutes," Söder points out.
The Länder, with disparate situations in their territory and the powers placed in their hands by the federal system, ignored the alarms. Merkel, with the support of the entire scientific community, warned again in October. It only obtained a framework agreement for containment measures that each federal state reserved the right to apply.
In November, with 75% of the contagions already impossible to track, lost control of the pandemic, the Länder accepted partial confinement, which clearly has not produced the desired results.
On the 9th, the Chancellor had decided to force the federal structure with a dramatic speech before the Bundestag, but only three of the 16 federal states reacted in her favor. The pressure, however, was already unstoppable.