Merkel apologizes as she reverses Germany’s Easter lockdown

Angela Merkel has apologized to the public for reversing Easter’s lockdown in Germany.

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Angela Merkel has apologized to the public for reversing Easter’s lockdown in Germany.

She initially announced to close Churches for 5 days over Easter festivities. She then took a u-turn over the decision and called it a mistake. 

The reversal came as Belgium reintroduced strict lockdown measures in response to a surge of new coronavirus infections. The country is undergoing a severe wave of coronavirus hence, it announced to shut down schools and access to all kinds of business. Other places were also shut down. Few remained open with strict health care guidelines.

In Germany, Merkel said she regretted that her proposal caused distress among the public. Moreover, the opposition took full advantage of ruining the reputation of the ruling party to take over the place in national elections happening in September.

The decision to lock down was questioned and criticized by the general public and businessmen. Under the planned Easter lockdown, all shops and business would have been told to remain shut for five days in a row, while grocery stores were to briefly reopen on Holy Saturday, a proposal that many feared would lead to crowded aisles and super-spreader events in supermarket queues.

Merkel’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, of the Christian Social Union (CSU), criticized the request for churches to hold Easter services online. Under public pressure, the German chancellor had to reverse the decision taken prior. 

Germany, which has been stuck in partial lockdown for over more than four months, has in recent weeks recorded a new rise of cases driven by the more infectious B.1.1.7 variant, which currently makes up more than half of new cases reported in the country.

Infection rates in Germany are still considerably lower than in countries such as France, Italy, or Poland, but scientists say failure to curb the pandemic’s growth now could mean hospitals being overwhelmed with new cases by April.