Merkel says she is considering new restrictions to bring coronavirus under control

German leader Angela Merkel gives a press statement at the Chancellery in Berlin, on March 25. Michael Kappeler/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested additional measures may be needed in the country to halt the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

In a rare interview with public broadcaster ARD on Sunday night, the long-time leader stood by her apology over proposing then scrapping Easter restrictions, admitting mistakes had been made.

Last week, Merkel walked back on her plan to impose a new hard five-day lockdown over Easter. Although there are restrictions on social contact and gatherings, businesses will now only be closed as usual on the public holidays of Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

As Covid-19 cases rise across Germany, however, Merkel said that in addition to testing, further measures were being considered and could be introduced soon.

“For me, contact restrictions, restrictions to go out, are very important means to stop the exponential growth of the virus. Plus to increase testing in schools twice a week and the industry, where I am not yet content with the current enthusiasm, where I have said clearly that we then need to legislate, and soon,” Merkel said. 

Merkel deflected a question over whether she’d send Germany into another hard lockdown, instead suggesting that more people needed to work from home and that more testing for those going into work was needed.

She added: “We have to ensure that schools can only open if they can test twice a week, although even twice is not a lot.”

Some background: The number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 2,782,273 after an additional 9,872 instances were identified, the German agency for disease control and prevention said Monday.

The Robert Koch Institute said Germany’s death toll stands at 75,913 — including 43 new cases in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile the seven-day incidence rate now stands at 134.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.

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