According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the many efforts against the coronavirus and the lockdowns are starting to pay off.
The number of new infections is falling, and it is worth it, she notes. But Merkel also called the still high number of deaths the other side of the coin. Also, new variants of the virus may pose a significant danger.
Merkel justifies the many restrictions imposed by pointing out the new virus variants’ risks, which are more contagious. That danger can still be averted if action is taken quickly, according to the chancellor. The restrictions serve “to control and overcome the virus this year.”
In Germany, the corona measures are mainly a matter for the federal states, and there is criticism of the means used. On Thursday evening, Merkel will consult with the 26 other EU countries’ leaders about a more concerted approach, mainly to contain new virus variants and a third wave.
Merkel said she also wants to avoid needing border closures again. Free movement of goods is essential and must be sustained through cooperation within the EU.
She did not rule out the possibility that borders may have to be closed, but she wants to prevent that. She also said Germany is consulting with neighbouring countries about corona testing for workers who need to cross the border for work.