In Germany, Chancellor Merkel is holding an in-depth urgent consultation with the Länder today on new stringent Coronation measures. A draft proposal says that schools and non-essential shops close for almost four weeks, from next Wednesday, 16 December to 10 January. Employers will also be asked to have their staff working at home during this period.

The call for a nationwide ‘hard lockdown’ has become stronger in the last few days, as the prevalence rates are rising and the death toll is rising rapidly.

A number of Länder, including Bavaria and Saxony, have already tightened up the coronation measures considerably, but in order to prevent different rules from being applied everywhere, Merkel is today discussing the virtual table with the prime ministers of all 16 states.

This week Merkel made an unusually flaming and emotional appeal to all Germans to minimize contacts in the coming weeks, “otherwise it might be the last Christmas for grandma and grandpa”, she added ominously.

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