An-Najah News - Germany has brought in tough new lockdown restrictions as France implements a night-time curfew.
Germany has shut schools and non-essential businesses in a strict lockdown to try and bring under control soaring coronavirus cases.
The fresh restrictions will be in place until January 10, but there will be a slight easing of measures over Christmas allowing one household to have up to four family members.
The country reported 952 deaths, the highest increase yet, along with 27,728 new cases on Wednesday.
Fears of the pandemic spiralling out of control drew swift action from Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state governors who announced the tough new restrictions on Sunday.
Ms Merkel told lawmakers on Tuesday she was worried by the upward trend in coronavirus infections and warned them that January and February would be very tough months.
Covid cases ‘will rise’ due to Christmas rules, minister admits
Germany was more successful than many European countries in keeping the coronavirus under control in the first wave in the spring but the situation looks very different now.
The country entered a “lockdown light” in November but Ms Merkel said at the weekend it had not been enough to bring the virus under control.
Under Germany’s new restrictions only essential businesses such as supermarkets and banks will remain open.
What you need to know about the coronavirus vaccines
Lothar Wieler, head of Germany's Robert Koch Institute,
Germans are waiting for regulatory approval for a vaccine partly developed in Germany even as other countries, including Britain and the United States, are rolling it out.
Health Minister Jens Spahn has said Germany should start giving coronavirus shots 24 to 72 hours after the vaccine by BioNTech and Pfizer gets EU approval and could begin as soon as Christmas. European authorities are expected to approve the vaccine next week.