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Germany extends virus curbs to early January

During Christmas period rules on gatherings slightly eased

26 November, 20:08

(ANSA-AFP) - BERLIN, 26 NOV - Germany will extend its current coronavirus restrictions through to early January unless there is a dramatic drop in infections -- something that is not expected, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. Merkel said the measures introduced in early November, including limits on private gatherings and the closure of restaurants, leisure and cultural facilities, cannot be lifted given current infection rates. The curbs will be continued "until December 20 first but we assume that ... due to the very high incidence of infection, restrictions will have to apply until the beginning of January," Merkel said. The agreement means continued closures for restaurants, bars, sporting facilities and cultural venues in Europe's biggest economy, though schools and shops will remain open. From December 1, private gatherings will be limited to five people from two households -- down from 10 people currently, though children are exempted from the new rule. For the festive period from December 23 to New Year's day, rules on gatherings will be slightly eased to allow up to 10 adults meeting, with children under 14 exempted. But this does not mean that parties will be allowed, according to a deal hammered out by Merkel's government and Germany's 16 states -- rather, the motto for the period will be to remain at home. (ANSA-AFP).

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