By Dejan Vukosavljevic
The German federal government and the Prime Ministers of the German federal states (Bund und Länder) have decided to extend the lockdown in Germany until the end of January 2021 at the earliest.
Markus Söder, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, recently said in a statement to Bild am Sonntag that the country needs to be patient and not give up too soon.
“The infection numbers are still far too high,” said Söder. “The effects of the gatherings for Christmas and the New Year can not still be assessed, and it could only be done precisely in mid-January,” noted Söder. When asked about another possible extension of the lockdown after Jan. 31, Söder said, “There can never be any guarantees about how things will further develop.”
Prime Ministers of other federal states broadly agreed with the extension of the lockdown. The Prime Minister of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, intends to tighten the lockdown in Thuringia in view of the high infection levels.
“The prerequisite for any relaxation is that there are fewer patients in the hospitals and that the health authorities are able to reliably track contacts in order to break the chains of infections,” said the Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer. “Otherwise, we will have a yo-yo effect, and go back into the lockdown after premature relaxation of measures.”
“It is impossible to say when the lockdown will end,” said the Prime Minister of Saarländ Tobias Hans. “It can only be ended when we have an incidence of 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the course of seven days,” added Hans.
Several German theaters and opera houses have already shut down until the end of January or February 2021 in anticipation of such a decision. The German federal government and the Prime Ministers of the federal states will analyze the epidemiological situation again in a few weeks and decide accordingly.