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COVID-19 WATCH

Germany limits parties

If rates shoot up to 50 per 100,000 people, then only 25 people would be allowed at public gatherings.

Agence France-Presse

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BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Germany will impose a cap on the number of people at parties and family gatherings in areas worst affected by the coronavirus, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday after talks with premiers of the country’s 16 states.

With recent outbreaks in the country frequently traced to weddings and other private events, Merkel said “a reaction is therefore necessary” to halt the spread of the virus.

Any region where infection rates reach 35 per 100,000 people would be required to impose a cap of 50 people maximum at gatherings in public spaces or rented venues.

If rates shoot up to 50 per 100,000 people, then only 25 people would be allowed at public gatherings.

Federal states failed to agree on rules for private parties at home but Merkel said they “strongly recommend” that people limit guest lists to just 10 at home in the hardest-hit regions.

The chancellor also encouraged citizens to stay in Germany during the upcoming autumn school holidays, given the rapid increase in infection rates in neighboring European countries.

In addition, Germany will impose fines of at least 50 euros if clients fail to provide real contact details when they dine at restaurants to help with tracing.

“The operators must ensure that people are giving real information… if names like Donald Duck are provided, it is not hard to spot,” Merkel said.

In cases of doubt, restaurant owners or hairdressers should ask for identification cards to verify the details, she said, something that could provoke some resistance in Germany where privacy is fiercely guarded.

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