Coronavirus Update: Germany to announce tighter coronavirus restrictions
On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss potential new measures with the heads of the country's 16 states via video conference. A draft document of the measures, seen by various media outlets, said people would be urged to abstain from private parties completely until Christmas. According to the proposals, children and young people are to be encouraged to meet with only one particular friend regularly in their free time. Similarly, families are to limit private get-togethers to their own household and people from one other particular household. The draft document further envisions limiting peoples' meetings in public to members of their own households and a maximum of two people from another household. The proposals could still change pending the discussion between the federal and regional governments.
The draft also pushes for social distancing measures to be stepped up at schools. Masks that cover the mouth and nose are to become compulsory for teachers and pupils of all ages on school premises and during lessons. Pupils are to have lessons in assigned, unchanging groups of about half the regular class size, according to the proposal.
All people considered vulnerable will be eligible once a week for one heavy duty respirator mask, also known as FFP2. Other possible resolutions include demanding people with even light common cold symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose, to isolate themselves and go into quarantine.
German health authorities have today reported a record 410 coronavirus related-deaths. This milestone comes just as the country's 16 state leaders are set to decide on stricter lockdown measures. They have reportedly agreed to extend coronavirus restrictions into December, with exceptions for holiday celebrations. New daily infections have leveled off, but Germany's caseload remains stubbornly high.
Among European countries, Finland has come out as a star pupil of coronavirus containment, managing to keep its new infection rates under reasonable control. Restaurants and bars are open for business, and stores never closed. But there are fairly tight rules aimed at keeping the virus outside its borders.
France is relaxing its coronavirus restrictions following a drop in new infections. Non-essential shops, movie theaters and museums will gradually reopen but large gatherings will remain banned.
Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, has eased social distancing measures and allowed companies to bring employees back to work, after three weeks without a locally transmitted case.
And in the US, a restaurant dining ban comes into effect today in Los Angeles - the country's second-biggest city. The three-week order comes as the state of California faces a record number of new infections. Six days after curfews came into effect in greater Paris and eight other metropolitan areas, French Prime Minister Jean Castex is slated to announce new measures to stem the spread of coronavirus as cases rise across the country. The latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic:
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has again declared victory over the coronavirus. She said restrictions in Auckland would be lifted after no new cases were confirmed for ten days. New Zealand appeared to stamp out the virus in May, but a new outbreak hit Auckland in August.
Iceland has introduced new restrictions following a spike in coronavirus infections. The latest wave of infections is thought to be much higher than earlier this year. Bars, clubs and gyms all have to close, and gatherings of more than 20 people are now banned.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen says she is self-isolating until Tuesday after she attended a meeting with somone who tested positive for coronavirus. She said she tested negative last Thursday but would be testing again today. We'll have more details as they comes in.
The World Health Organization is calling Italy an example of best practice in dealing with the coronavirus. Watchdogs are praising both government policies and citizen discipline. DW's Georg Matthes went to Milan to see the people there are faring.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking to close all non-essential businesses and schools in nine neighborhoods that have been identified as virus clusters. Up to five-hundred-thousand people could be affected by the proposed shutdown.
The French capital Paris is being placed on maximum alert for two weeks to curb a new rise in infections. Bars will remain closed and restaurants will have to implement stricter sanitary protocols. The new measures take effect on Tuesday.
In the Phillipines, some 25 million students have begun classes at home. President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered schools to remain shut until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. France and Germany have announced second national lockdowns to try to curb a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths.
President Emmanuel Macron confirmed his country's widely-expected measures, which will start this Friday and last until 1 December.
The month-long measures will include:
A 'stay at home' order except to exercise for one hour a day, seek medical care or buy essential goods
- Shutting restaurants and bars
- Non-essential shops to close
- A travel ban between regions
- Closing some external borders
- Universities moving to online teaching
Anyone outside their homes will have to carry a document justifying their excursion, which can be checked by police. Schools will remain open.