Germany to go into circuit-break lockdown

Germany will impose an emergency month-long lockdown.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday (October 28) that the situation was, quote, "very serious" and the country needs to take action now.

Effective from November 2, private gatherings will be limited to 10 people from a maximum of two households.

Restaurants, gyms and theaters will be shut and concerts will be cancelled.

But schools, daycare centers, shops and churches can remain open.

People will be asked not to travel for private, non-essential reasons, and overnight stays at hotels will only be available for necessary business trips.

Merkel said the goal was limit the economic impact of the measures to a bare minimum.

Germany is Europe's largest economy and was widely praised for its pandemic handling earlier in the year, keeping infection and death rates low.

But Europe is now in the midst of a second wave. Deaths from COVID-19 have risen almost 40% on the continent in just a week.

Almost all regions of Germany face an exponential increase in infection rates and local health authorities have become unable to trace all infections.