German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany will classify France as an area with a high Covid-19 incidence rate. French officials began imposing a regional lockdown in a bid to halt the rise of infections.
“While we see such a high incidence it is simply a necessity… a practically automatic process,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin.
Merkel clarified that the decision will not be related to politics, but only to case numbers. AFP reported that Covid-19 incidence rates, which measure the number of infections in every 100,000 people over the previous seven days, have exceeded the threshold of 200 in multiple French regions.
“When we see the evolution of the incidence rate – as is the case here – exceed the threshold of 200 for a long time, that requires a classification as a zone of high risk,” Merkel said.
Currently only France’s Moselle department, which borders the Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, is listed as a high-risk area. Travelers from such areas must present a negative Covid-19 test.
German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported earlier that France will be classified as an area with high-incidence by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute on Friday, which chronicles the progression of Covid-19.
Faced with a surge in cases, France imposed partial lockdowns in 16 of its regions, including the Paris metropolitan area, over the weekend. On Friday, the restrictions were extended to three more regions around Lyon, the nation’s third-largest city.
Germany, meanwhile, has extended its own restrictions into April. Merkel backed out of her initial plan for an even tighter lockdown during the Easter holidays, which sparked uproar across the country. She explained that officials had the best intentions in mind when proposing new restrictions, but they were “not really doable in such a short time.”
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