23.Apr .2021 19:30

Germany's controversial 'emergency brake' law will close most of the country from Saturday

Germany's controversial 'emergency brake' law will close most of the country from Saturday
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Germany's new “emergency brake” rules to curb the spread of coronavirus for areas with high infection rates will come into force Saturday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday.
 
The controversial new law gives the national government power to impose lockdowns on states for the first time, ending the patchwork of state-by-state measures. 
 
The federally imposed shutdown will affect almost all of Germany, with only a few municipalities having low enough levels of transmission to avoid the restrictions.
 
Spahn’s announcement comes a day after the bill passed the upper house of Parliament.  
 
The law includes curfews between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time, as well as limiting private gatherings, sports and shop openings, in all areas registering more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in one week. 

Schools will close and return to online lessons if the virus incidence exceeds 165 cases per 100,000 residents.
 
At the moment Germany's new infection rate is 164 per 100,000 residents.

Speaking at the same press conference as Spahn, Lars Schaade, Deputy Head of Germany's health agency the Robert Koch Institute, said that “infection numbers are still too high,” however “coronavirus case numbers do not appear to be rising as fast.”
 
But Spahn said Germany's vaccination campaign is gathering pace. 

“One in four Germans will have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by early May,” Spahn said at a Health Ministry press conference in Berlin. 
 
As of Friday, 18.5 million people have been vaccinated, Spahn said.

Around 22% of Germans have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and nearly 7% received their second coronavirus vaccine shot.
 
On Friday, Germany recorded 27,543 new coronavirus infections – a rise of 1,712 cases compared to the same day last week, according to RKI data.
 
The country's coronavirus deaths stood at 265 within the last 24 hours, bringing the total tally of deaths to 81,158.
 
Source: CNN