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According to a draft contract presented by AFP on Tuesday, the 16 German federal states agreed on guidelines to limit social contact over Christmas, which destroy hopes for large holiday gatherings.

Heads of State agreed to limit gatherings to 10 people during the holidays from December 23 to January 1 – twice as much as for the rest of December. Children are exempt from the rules.

The draft also called for talks “with religious communities about measures to reduce contact at church services and other religious gatherings”.

The measures represent a compromise on the politically charged issue, with some less affected regions calling for lighter restrictions.

They will be presented on Wednesday at a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who failed last week to gain unanimous agreement from states to tighten measures as new infections continue to rise in the EU’s most populous country.

The new measures, which include expanding closings of restaurants, bars and cultural institutions, also include recommendations against the use of fireworks on busy streets and squares to prevent groups from congregating.

Some politicians had spoken out in favor of an outright ban on fireworks because of the large number of injuries they cause each year to relieve overburdened hospitals dealing with coronavirus patients.

Germany has had some success in flattening the new infection curve since tighter social restrictions were introduced on November 2.

However, health officials have raised the alarm because intensive care units filled quickly and the source of the transmission could not be tracked while rates remain high.

According to the Robert Koch Institute’s Disease Control Center, Germany has registered a total of 942,687 coronavirus cases and 14,361 deaths.

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© 2020 AFP

Quote: Germany plans to limit social gatherings for Christmas (2020, November 24th), which were accessed on November 24th, 2020 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-11-germany-limit-social-christmas.html

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