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Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday. Photo: Michael Kappeler / POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Tuesday Germany's COVID-19 restrictions are being extended for another month, and the country will endure an "even stricter lockdown" in April to combat spiking cases, per DW.com.

Driving the news: Merkel said the spread of coronavirus variants put Germany in a "very serious situation" as they're "significantly more deadly" and more infectious, so Germany needs an "emergency brake." 

  • "What we have is essentially a new pandemic," she added, according to Deutsche Welle.
  • German Health Minister Jens Spahn said last Friday that COVID-19 cases were spiking at an "exponential rate" in the country and there might not be enough vaccine doses to avoid a third wave.

The big picture: Following a video call with Germany's 16 state governors, Merkel said the current lockdown measures that were due to last until March 28 would be extended to April 18.

  • Measures will be tightened further from April 1-5, with public gatherings banned and most stores closed during the Easter holiday period.
  • Churches are being urged to hold services online.

By the numbers: Germany has reported over 75,000 deaths from the virus and nearly 2.7 million cases since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins.

  • "The weekly infection rate per 100,000 people stood at 107 nationwide on Monday, up from the mid-60s three weeks ago," AP notes.

Go deeper

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.

4 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.