Berlin — Germany added the southern city of Munich its growing list of coronavirus “red” zones on Monday, triggering new restrictions as the country grapples with a rise in cases.
Munich joined a string of cities to pass the highest alert level on the country’s traffic warning system as it passed the threshold of more than 50 new daily infections per 100,000 residents.
Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Cologne and Essen are already classed as high-risk zones.
As of Wednesday, Munich’s bars and restaurants will be required to stop serving alcohol after 10 p.m. Mask-wearing will be mandatory for pedestrians, and no more than two households, or up to five people are allowed to meet in groups. Private indoor events are capped at 25 attendees, and outdoor events at 50. The rules will stay in effect for at least two weeks, until October 27th.
Germany’s government speaker Steffen Seibert called the rise in new coronavirus cases across the country “dramatic” in a news conference on Monday. Germany has reached a point “which decides whether we can successfully counteract these developments, or whether the numbers will escape us over winter and Christmas,” he added.
Still, overall levels remain much lower than other countries in Europe. Germany reported 2,467 new coronavirus cases on Monday, compared to around 12,000 new cases a day in the United Kingdom and more than 20,000 in France.
However, German health authorities have said the steepness of the rise in its metropolitan areas is concerning. The number of new cases, which tend to lag early in the week as weekend data from the country’s states takes time to be collated, have nearly doubled from a week earlier.