German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday urged citizens to wear masks and abide by social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention rules if they want to see restrictions lifted in the country.
Speaking with reporters in Dusseldorf where she attended the North Rhine-Westphalia state cabinet meeting, Merkel said the number of new cases in Germany has doubled in three weeks and cannot continue.
She noted that the surge is likely due to people traveling during the summer holidays and more intermingling. Merkel said she cannot further lift COVID-19 restrictions with the rising new infections and appealed to the public to adhere to the rules.
“If the infection numbers go down, then we can open up more,”” Merkel said. “If they don’t go down or if they go up, then you have to consider what might be necessary.”
Merkel said she discussed the COVID-19 pandemic with the state cabinet. Germany’s 16 states largely set their own rules, often leading to a mishmash of differing regional regulations that have prompted confusion and frustration in the country of 83 million. Merkel said she was in favor of a more uniform approach.
Germany’s disease control agency on Tuesday reported 1,390 new confirmed coronavirus cases.
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