Merkel to face press grilling after Germany extends Covid lockdown

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

dpa/GNA – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will field journalists’ questions in Berlin on Thursday, days after she and the nation’s state premiers agreed to extend the coronavirus lockdown.

Sweeping sections of public life, including schools and non-essential shops, will now remain closed until at least February 14 rather than the end of this month.

Merkel had pushed for even tougher restrictions, only some of which the regional leaders agreed to.

These include new working-from-home rules and stricter mask requirements in shops and on public transport, where only medical-quality face coverings will be allowed in future.

Merkel is expected to answer questions on the lockdown policies at the press conference, which is scheduled to begin at 11 am (1000 GMT).

An EU summit, taking place online later in the day, is also expected to come up.

EU member states are under pressure from the European Commission to adopt a collective goal of hitting the 70-per-cent threshold for Covid-19 vaccinations in the bloc’s population by summer.

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