German towns bring back coronavirus lockdown measures after infections spike within days

German towns have backflipped on easing coronavirus restrictions after seeing a sudden spike of new cases 24 hours after measures were relaxed.

German towns are pulling a U-turn on easing lockdown conditions after a sudden spike of new coronavirus cases.

State bosses have made the move after a concerning rise in COVID-19 patients was recorded just days after the measures were lifted, The Sun reports.

Germany has 16 federal states, each of which has the power to relax restrictions independently.

All have agreed to reimpose the lockdown if new cases hit 50 per 100,000 people over seven days, but three have now passed that threshold and are taking a step back.

Some lockdown measures will be reimposed in North Rhine-Westphalia after an outbreak at a slaughterhouse in the Coesfeld district, where 150 of its 1200 employees tested positive.
This pushed the region above the 50 per 100,000 people threshold to 61 per 100,000 people.

The state’s health minister, Karl-Josef Laumann, ordered the closure of the slaughterhouse and testing of all meat processing plant employees in the state.

A different slaughterhouse in the northern state Schleswig-Holstein also saw a rise in employees testing positive for the virus, the Daily Mail reported.

In the eastern state of Thuringia, the local government recorded more than 80 infections per 100,000 people over the past week.

The majority of these infections were among employees and residents in six care homes and one geriatrics hospital.

Chief administrator of the town of Greiz, Martina Schweinsburg, said: 

To be clear: We're not going to put the entire district in quarantine just two small towns were particularly affected.

It comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday that Germany could slowly return to normal after the country’s infection rate slowed and mortality rate remained relatively low.
The spike has pushed local officials to postpone large parts of the next planned stage in lifting restrictions across Germany.

The next stage will see restaurants, fitness studios, tourist spots and larger shops open for one week starting Monday.

However, the gradual reopening of schools and daycare centres will still go ahead as planned in the affected areas.

Since April 20, smaller shops have been allowed to open.

Over early May, hairdressers, places of worship, museums, memorials, zoos and playgrounds have also started to reopen in Germany, but with social distancing measures in place.

Cultural centres, bars, restaurants, playgrounds and sports stadiums remain closed and large gatherings are banned until at least August 31.

Wearing masks is now obligatory on public transport and in shops.

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