Germany drops Easter shutdown plan, Chancellor Merkel apologises

Topics Angela Merkel | Germany | Easter

Angela Merkel | File

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday dropped plans for a five-day shutdown in Germany over Easter, which had prompted confusion and criticism. She called the idea a mistake and apologised to Germans.

Merkel announced the decision after calling a hastily arranged videoconference on Wednesday with Germany's 16 state governors, who are responsible for imposing and lifting restrictions.

The same group had come up with the unexpected plan for deeper restrictions over Easter, which was announced early Tuesday.

The plan was to make Thursday next week the day before Good Friday a rest day, with all shops closed, and only allow supermarkets to open on Easter Saturday.

Since the Friday and Monday are already holidays, that would have created a five-day shutdown of public life on top of existing lockdown restrictions, which were extended through April 18.

The plan had raised many questions about logistical details, which remained unresolved, and also was criticised because there had been no public discussion of it before it emerged in the small hours of Tuesday following lengthy haggling.

The idea of an Easter shutdown was drawn up with the best intentions, because we must urgently manage to slow and reverse the third wave of the pandemic, Merkel said.

However, the idea ... was a mistake there were good reasons for it but it could not be implemented well enough in this short time.

This mistake is my mistake alone, she told reporters.

A mistake must be called a mistake, and above all it must be corrected and if possible, that has to happen it time.

At the same time, of course I know that this whole matter triggers more uncertainty I regret that deeply and I apologise to all citizens, she said.

Infection numbers in Germany have been rising again as the more contagious variant of the virus that was first detected in Britain has become dominant in the country.

Germany has registered more than 75,000 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic a year ago.

The country's disease control center also reported 15,815 new infection cases in the past 24 hours on Wednesday a week ago there were 13,435 new cases.

Merkel said that, even without the Easter shutdown, decisions she has taken with the state governors offer a framework to beat back the new wave of coronavirus infections.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel