Germany took drastic action Sunday to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the European Union country banned public gatherings of more than two people.
Only families and people sharing a home are exempt from the stringent action, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, according to Bloomberg News.
“No one wants to stand before the people and discuss such rules,” Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin after a video conference with regional leaders, according to the news outlet.
Merkel, who after giving her remarks was placed in quarantine after a doctor she came in contact with tested positive for COVID-19, said the public gathering ban will be in effect for two weeks.
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Restaurants will be closed except for takeout and delivery services.
Merkel has feuded with some of the nation’s 16 states over how best to combat the virus, Bloomberg News reported.
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In Germany, the disease has infected nearly 24,000 people but claimed the lives of only 92, according to data from John Hopkins University.
The chancellor opposes a rigid lockdown, fearing that such a measure could backfire.
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At the same time, she has sought a more coordinated approach to restrictions on public life.