German state pushing for nationwide lockdown over Christmas, New Year

 Officials in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, are said to be pushing for a nationwide lockdown that would come into effect before Christmas and stay in place until the New Year.

Germany’s influential National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina, has called for a “hard lockdown” between Dec. 24 and Jan. 10 as coronavirus infections mount and hospital capacity dwindles.

This would involve winding down public life and closing non-essential shops.

North Rhine Westphalia premier Armin Laschet, who is closely aligned with Chancellor Angela Merkel, is pushing for the proposed measures to come into effect even sooner, according to sources in the state capital Dusseldorf.

Similarly, Bavarian premier Markus Soeder has joined a chorus of top officials calling for Germany to go into lockdown over the Christmas and New Year period.

“We have to act and do so as fast as possible,” Soeder said while visiting a future vaccination centre in the city of Nuremberg alongside Health Minister Jens Spahn.

Calls for the nationwide closure of non-essential shops and other lockdown measures are mounting as coronavirus infections surge and hospital capacity dwindles. (dpa/NAN)

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