x

Coronavirus

Germany Aims to Unify Pandemic Restrictions

BERLIN — The German government aims to agree on a bill Tuesday that would shift more powers from state to federal authorities to set pandemic restrictions.

The country’s decentralized political system has resulted in an often confusing patchwork of rules and regulations to reduce coronavirus infections in Germany’s 16 states.

Government spokesperson Steffen Seibert told reporters on Monday that the goal of the bill is to have a single nationwide rule for all areas where there are more than 100 new weekly cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Currently more than half of Germany’s 400 cities and counties have higher infection rates.

Some regions in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein with lower infection rates began reopening open-air dining in cafes and restaurants Monday.

The proposed bill would need to be passed by Parliament. Seibert said the government is already in talks with all parties to ensure that happens quickly.

One issue still being discussed is whether to make testing for COVID-19 compulsory in the workplace. The pro-business Free Democratic Party, which co-governs in some German states, opposes this requirement.

Germany’s disease control agency reported 13,245 newly confirmed cases on Monday, taking the total number of known COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic above 3 million. The Robert Koch Institute said there were 99 additional deaths, raising the total tally to 78,452.

RELATED

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

Top Stories

United States

I’ve only ‘met’ Zaferios G Caragianades once in the pages of history.

Politics

Ambassador Dimitrios Tsikouris (JD, MA) has a 36-year-long career in the Greek Diplomatic Service with assignments in Germany, the United Nations, New Orleans, Washington, DC, NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, Iran, Belgium, Indonesia, Malaysia, and ASEAN.

Politics

ATHENS – Growing violence on Greek campuses will be dealt with, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a pledge to root out offenders who are allowed to stay in school despite causing problems.

Video

Jill Biden: I Didn’t Expect “Healing Role” as First Lady

LAS VEGAS — Her husband campaigned to help unite the country, but Jill Biden says "healing" a nation wounded by a deadly pandemic, natural and other disasters and deep political polarization is among her chief roles as first lady, too.