13 December, 2020.

As the existing Covid-19 measures failed to stop its spread, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ordered tougher rules.

These new rules will take effect on December 16 and last until January 10. The rules made it mandatory that all non-essential shops and services, like hair salons, will be shuttered. Employers to allow workers to work remotely and schools urged to send students back home and continue lectures online.

Parents will be able to take paid holidays to look after their kids for Daycare centers will also close. People will be banned from drinking alcohol in public and buying fireworks for New Year’s Eve. 

“We were forced to act and are acting now,” Merkel told reporters, explaining that the existing measures were “not enough.”

The health system is under heavy strain and our aim has always been to avoid an overloading of the healthcare system.

Affected businesses would be able to get up to €500,000 ($605,000) in state aid according the finance minister Olaf Scholz.

Some officials previously agreed to allow some leniency during the festive season. But regional leaders later called for an urgent summit in order to persuade Merkel to adopt stricter rules in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The head of Bavaria, Markus Soeder, said that Germany “would quickly become the ‘problem child’ of all of Europe,”unless urgent steps are taken against Covid-19.

From December 24 to 26, close family members will be allowed to celebrate together according tyo the new rules.