After weeks of rising cases, Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday that Germany is to enter a ‘partial’ second national lockdown. Starting on November 2nd and estimated to last four weeks, these measures will be the strictest seen in Germany since May.
Restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, and leisure facilities must close. However, non-essential shops are permitted to stay open, as long as they can maintain social distancing. Schools and nurseries will also remain open. Although the second lockdown came earlier than expected, the government has stated that they had no other choice given the rapidly rising number of cases in the country, which has caused an unprecedented increase in COVID ICU admissions.
The new measures come amongst recent ‘anti-lockdown’ sentiment and protests in the country. The most recent of these took place in Berlin last weekend, coinciding with an arson attack on the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s public health agency. Amongst some shifting of public mood surrounding government-ordained COVID measures, Merkel took aim at disinformation in a speech to lawmakers on Thursday, emphasising that “human lives depend” on trust in scientific fact.