Angela Merkel Reverses Germany Easter Lockdown Decision, Apologizes
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 24: German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement to the media to announce a reversal of the recently planned hard lockdown for Easter on March 24, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel and leaders of Germany's 16 states had recently agreed to the hardest lockdown to date for the Easter period of April 1 through April 5 in an effort to stem the spread of the B117 coronavirus variant. COVID-19 infection rates are currently rising strongly in Germany. (Photo by Henning Schacht - Pool/Getty Images)
Henning Schacht – Pool/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reversed an announcement made on Tuesday that included details of a decision about imposing a lockdown for five days over the Easter holiday.

The Associated Press reports that the original plan was to make Thursday of next week — the day before Good Friday — a “rest day.” This would include all shops closing with only groceries allowed to open their doors on Easter Saturday. “Since the Friday and Monday are already national holidays, that would have created a five-day shutdown of public life — on top of existing lockdown restrictions, which were extended through April 18,” per the outlet.

The original decision was announced on Tuesday after videoconference meetings with the country’s 16 state governors.

NPR reported on Tuesday that the lockdown would mean that the churches in Germany would be requested to have Easter services on the internet and “no more than five adults from two households will be allowed to meet over the holiday, and that most shops will be closed, according to Deutsche Welle.

Following backlash due to the seemingly abrupt decision and the many hurdles such a lockdown would impose, Merkel and the governors met virtually again. Merkel then announced that there would not be a lockdown over the holiday anymore.

“The idea of an Easter shutdown was drawn up with the best intentions, because we must urgently manage to slow and reverse the third wave of the pandemic,” Merkel said. “However, the idea … was a mistake — there were good reasons for it but it could not be implemented well enough in this short time.”

“This mistake is my mistake alone, because in the end I bear ultimate responsibility for everything,” she told the press. “A mistake must be called a mistake, and above all it must be corrected — and if possible, that has to happen in time.”

“At the same time, of course I know that this whole matter triggers more uncertainty — I regret that deeply and I apologize to all citizens,” she said.

Germany has had an uptick in infections recently, but Merkel says that while avoiding an Easter lockdown, the Chancellor and her officials have developed a “framework” to combat the rise in coronavirus cases. The new variant of the virus that was first found in Britain has also spread in the nation.

According to the AP, “Germany has registered more than 75,000 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic a year ago. The country’s disease control center also reported 15,815 new confirmed daily cases Wednesday, up from 13,435 new daily cases a week ago.”

Reporting by The Associated Press states that bars, restaurants, and other establishments are still shut down in Germany. A plan created earlier this month reportedly permits certain places to reopen on a restricted basis, but includes an “emergency brake” under which areas are supposed to put restrictions back in place when the number of infections per week is more than 100 per 100,000 residents on three days in a row. “Germany is currently recording 108 weekly new cases per 100,000 residents nationwide, with wide regional variations,” says AP.

The science regarding the effectiveness of lockdowns appears to be split, and studies will likely be conducted regarding their positive or negative effects for some time.

“I am deeply convinced that we will beat the virus together,” Merkel said. “The path is hard, and it is stony. It is marked by successes but also by mistakes and setbacks. But the virus will slowly but surely become less threatening.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Angela Merkel Reverses Germany Easter Lockdown Decision, Apologizes