German Chancellor Angela Merkel has set the table for a bleak holiday season, announcing a raft of tough coronavirus lockdown measures, which she said were necessary to bring down the spiraling numbers of new COVID-19 cases. From Wednesday, non-essential shops are going to close. Supermarkets, pharmacies and banks are allowed to remain open. Schools are going to be shut in principle until the 10th of January and employers are being encouraged to allow their staff to work from home as far as possible. Chancellor Angela Merkel also made an appeal for people to limit their social contacts during the holidays. The number of people allowed to meet indoors will remain restricted to five, not including children under 14. And, in anticipation of New Year’s celebrations, sales of fireworks are going to be banned.
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