Germany imposes tougher measures to curb coronavirus

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 regional leaders have agreed to ban major public gatherings and impose a national fine for mask shirkers, as the country grapples with an increase in infections.

German leaders have announced they will extend a ban on major public events until next year, as part of a raft of measures aimed at reducing the number of coronavirus cases in the country. 

The ban was agreed on during a video conference attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of the country’s 16 states — the first such meeting since June 17. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed after the meeting that “all in all, it is fair to say that we have come through this pandemic well so far. Nevertheless, we can see that the number of infections has risen in recent weeks.”

“We take this increase in these summer months very seriously,” she added.

Other measures include a minimum fine of €50 ($60) for anyone caught not wearing a mask in shops and on public transport.

There was no agreement on limiting the number of participants for private events. Instead, Merkel and the regional leaders asked Germans to “critically weigh” in each individual case whether private celebrations are “necessary” and “justifiable.”

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