German minister rules out new nationwide coronavirus lockdown

Germany will not need another national lockdown over the winter to keep the coronavirus under control despite rising infections, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. 

After initially keeping infections and deaths relatively low compared to its European neighbors, the number of new cases in Germany has accelerated in recent weeks, raising fears of a second wave.

Spahn said experts and politicians were learning more about the virus every day. While a blanket lockdown in March had been the right thing to do at the time to protect the weakest in society, it would not be needed again, he said.

"We will certainly not need to do this nationwide," Spahn said, adding that regional authorities could handle outbreaks.

"We can go into autumn and winter with confidence," he told a news conference.

Spahn said there would be no need to reintroduce bans on visits to care homes. "And we can see that in shops we have things under control with social distancing and masks," he said.

Stressing that people should continue to exercise caution, for example by washing hands and wearing masks, measures could now be better targeted.

"We are learning where the dangers are greatest, sadly when we socialize and celebrate together," he said.


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