Germany faces tougher lockdown rules as Covid emergency brake approved

WORLD

The EU country’s upper house of parliament approved a law today to give Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Government more powers to fight a third wave of the coronavirus. The new law enables the national government to impose curfews between 10pm and 5am, as well as limits on private gatherings, sport and shop openings.

Schools will close and return to online lessons if the virus incidence exceeds 165 cases per 100,000 residents.

The law still needs the signature of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before it can come into force. The changes will apply initially until June 30.

Ms Merkel drew up the law after some of Germany’s 16 federal states refused to impose tough measures despite a surge in cases.

Manuela Schwesig, leader of the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, said the amendment did not go far enough.

She told ZDF television: “This law has a serious design flaw.

“This law will not bring down infection figures.”

It comes afrer Germany reported a rise of 29,518 cases today.

This has brought the total to 3.21 million.

Around 80,893 people have died and doctors have warned that unless action is taken, intensive-care units may struggle to cope.

The seven-day incidence rate rose slightly to 161.1 per 100,000.

As a result, the emergency brake is expected to last until June 30.

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