German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany’s 16 federal states plan to continue hammering out a joint proposal on Monday for how to proceed in the coronavirus pandemic ahead of consultations with Chancellor Angela Merkel after several rounds of voting over the weekend.

The deliberations of the state heads of government with Merkel are planned for Wednesday.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller, who currently heads the MPK group that brings the state premiers together, announced on Sunday that the current shutdown introduced at the start of the month would be extended beyond the end of November.
“We agree that a lot has already been achieved, but not enough,” he told dpa. “Against this background, it is currently inconceivable that we can now repeal the measures that were previously decided.”

The coordination process has been very constructive so far, he added, saying: “We are on the right track, so that we will have drafted a resolution by Wednesday.”

As part of shutdown that was initially supposed to apply until the end of November, restaurants and pubs remain closed, as do theatres, museums and swimming pools, while restrictions on social contacts apply.

Germany has been seeing record numbers of new coronavirus infections since October, with daily numbers at times over 20,000. The total number of infections since the pandemic began stood at 918,269 on Sunday, with 14,022 related deaths.

Last Monday, at a videoconference after the first two weeks of the partial lockdown, the federal and state governments were unable to agree on new binding restrictions for all citizens, although the federal government pushed for this. Instead, the states insisted on developing their own strategies.

Merkel laid the groundwork for an extension and expansion of the shutdown on Sunday, saying there was more to do, “but what exactly that is, I cannot and do not want to anticipate today,” she said in Berlin.

“The citizens should receive a unified, joint answer from the federal and state governments. They actually have a right to that. And this time we’re working very hard on it,” she said.

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