New restrictions will be introduced in Germany from Nov. 2 to pause the rapid spread of the coronavirus second wave, including the closure of cinemas, theaters, restaurants, bars, gyms, and other leisure spaces for the entire month.
Exhibitors organization HDF Kino has confirmed the closure of cinemas to Variety.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the news at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday after a video meeting with 16 state leaders.
“The speed of the virus is especially high,” Merkel said, adding that the number of people in intensive care facilities with COVID-19 had doubled over the last 10 days, and that the medical system would be stretched to its capacity very soon if the virus could not be controlled.
“We have to act, and act now,” Merkel said. “The curve must be flattened again.”
Under the restrictions, two households are allowed to meet, but outdoors only, up to a maximum of 10 people. Non-essential trips within the country are no longer allowed.
The German government is proposing €10bn ($11.8 billion) in aid to affected businesses that are required to close for a month, according to reports. This will cover up to 75% of lost revenue, based on sales during the same period in 2019.
Cases in Germany have been spiralling in recent days. The Robert Koch Institute, the country’s public health body confirmed 14,964 coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The national total is now 449,275 and the death toll has crossed 10,000.
Merkel and her team will reassess the situation in two weeks.
Neighbouring France is also seeing a record number of new cases, with its own four-week local lockdown expected imminently, according to local media reports.
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