Germany pauses reopening amid rising Covid-19 infections
BERLIN – Germany on Thursday paused further easing of coronavirus rules and introduced new restrictions, in the latest case of a European nation tackling a resurgence of infections spurred by tourism and summer festivities .
The new measures build heavily on existing rules and aim to improve testing of people returning from high-risk countries, support the safe reopening of schools and limit gatherings and events that have proven to be fertile ground. for Covid-19 clusters.
“This is a huge package of measures,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin. “A lot of things are open, a lot of things are still possible. But now we know where we need to focus our attention. “
Europe brought the virus under control in May and June, but new infections started to rise again in July after most lockdown restrictions were lifted and international travel resumed for the summer vacation.
Since then, national governments have again tightened safety rules in hopes of preventing a second blanket lockdown in winter, which would spell doom for the already battered European economy. Unlike the spring, they tried to target specific risks and epidemics and keep businesses and society open for as long as possible without endangering public health.