German Chancellor Angela Merkel

(dpa) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended on Friday her plans to introduce a strict night-time curfew to head off surging new coronavirus cases amid growing opposition to the proposed new law.

Speaking in parliament, Merkel said the plan to impose the curfew in regions where the number of new Covid 19 cases rose above 100 per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period was not new and had already been applied in several of the nation’s 16 states.

Merkel’s so-called emergency brake plan, which includes a night-time curfew from 9 pm (1900 GMT) until 5 am, has come under criticism from both legal experts and opposition party members.

Launching a parliamentary debate on the new law, the chancellor said measures in some other nations such as Portugal and Britain were even more restrictive than what Berlin planned for Germany.

“The point is to reduce evening visitor movements from one place to another as well as the use of local public transport,” Merkel told lawmakers.

She conceded that the night-time curfew was “not a panacea,” but added it can have an effect when combined with other measures such as tough contact restrictions.

The advantages of this measure outweigh the disadvantages, she said.

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