The lockdown begins next Monday and will see restaurants, bars and clubs closed in order to “avoid a national health emergency,” Merkel said Wednesday.
She added that in the last 10 days, the number of intensive care admissions in Germany have doubled. “I want to say what makes the situation particularly serious… the rate of dissemination is particularly high,” she said.
From November 2, people residing in the country are advised to stay home, avoid travel and “keep their contacts to an absolute minimum,” Merkel said. Social contacts will be limited to two households in public. Schools and kindergartens will remain open, but have to take strict hygiene measure to do so.
The measures will last for four weeks, and will be reassessed in two weeks time. Though strict, the guidelines are less harsh than the lockdown imposed this spring, which brought the country to a standstill.
Merkel’s announcement comes after a meeting with leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states to discuss the country’s spike in cases, which has seen the state of Bavaria and Frankfurt introduce restrictions that range from curfews to localized lockdowns.
The country recorded a record 14,964 new daily infections on Wednesday, according to the country’s disease and control agency the Robert Koch Institute.
Germany’s total coronavirus case count now stands at 449,275 and the death toll at 10,098, the institute’s data showed.