Dec 13, 2020 - Health

Germany will go into a strict lockdown over Christmas to curb COVID-19 cases

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel. Photo by Rainer Keuenhof-Pool/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday the country will go into a strict lockdown, shutting down all nonessential stores, services and schools until Jan. 10, CNN reports.

Driving the news: Europe's case count and death toll continue to climb. Germany hit a record number of daily deaths last week — 598 — which led to Merkel pleading with the nation to stay home and limit interactions over the holidays.

What she's saying: "If we have too many contacts now before Christmas, and that ends up making it the last Christmas with the grandparents, then we will have failed. We should not do that," Merkel said.

Worth noting: Part of the newly announced restrictions limit Christmas gatherings from 10 people to five from two different households. The order also bans alcohol in public places and requires prior registration for Christmas church services.

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