Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany canceled strict lockdown plans during Easter. After one day from announcing to have a strict lockdown, she withdrew the plan. She said that the plan was a “mistake” and took the responsibility of the chaos,
According to the first proposal, the lockdown would have been between April 1 and 5. It was agreed on a meeting last Monday. However, they realized the crisis of the decision later on Wednesday.
From scientists to business leaders, several influential people were against the lockdown plans. The proposed lockdown would have been the strictest one in Germany, with all shops closed and gatherings limited.
German residents would have had to stay at home for five days across Easter holidays and reduce socializing. The act would have canceled all possible in-person religious services and family gatherings.
The head of the Christian Democratic Union party, Armin Laschet, addressed Angela Markel at a regional parliament meet. He said that such a type of lockdown is not enforceable. To this, Angela Markel spoke to reporters in Berlin and said it was her mistake. She also said that the first announcement caused a lot of uncertainty. Further, she hopes the citizens forgive her.
Why did Angela Markel want a holiday lockdown?
Angela Markel believes that she had a valid reason to implement the lockdown. However, announcing at short notice was incorrect. The resident immediately gave a chaotic response. The Chancellor said that she is alone responsible for this plan and that it would be a five-day shutdown across a three-day Easter celebration.
The Chancellor, however, believes that the trust of the public on the government will waver according to possible rise in number of cases. She brought the country out finely through the first wave of the pandemic. But regional leaders keep complaining over lockdown, and the country has a chaotic response overall.
How is Germany doing in this pandemic?
While canceling the Easter holiday lockdown, the Chancellor warned the people of the new virus strain. The super contagious Kent virus variant from the UK is dominant in Germany right now. She said that the country could be going into another pandemic.
The Chancellor reportedly said that the variant is much more infectious, deadlier, and long-lasting. She also said that Germany was racing against time to get people vaccinated against coronavirus.
Currently, the infection rate is more than 100 per 100,000 residents. The increasing numbers will make emergency decisions critical, especially when it comes to lockdown measures. As per current rules, the areas that have infection across one week will not be reopened.
Vaccine problems in the European Union
Even after clarifying about such virus spread possibilities, the idea of Easter lockdown did not go well with many. Many religious leaders complained and argued that their current social distancing measures keep the churches safe.
After the Catholic German Bishops’ Conference, Angela Markel was forced to make a U-turn. The services would follow hygiene measures and provide live video streams for people who do not wish to attend.
Retail owners were also happy about the lockdown cancellation. The reversal makes them go back to the earlier coronavirus policies.
Germany is going through a partial lockdown phase, which will last till April 18 until further notice. The number of cases has been increasing while the country scrambles to help people get their vaccines.
European Commission recommends stricter control on the exports of coronavirus vaccines. They have accused AstraZeneca of failing to honor their contract to EU nations. The tough export controls will be applied for countries like the US and UK, as they already have a high supply of vaccine.