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Coronavirus

Germany to Extend Lockdown Until Jan 31

BERLIN —German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that she has agreed with state governors to extend the country’s current lockdown by three weeks until Jan. 31.

Merkel said they also are tightening curbs on social contacts, in line with measures imposed at the beginning of the pandemic in March. And they called for new restrictions on movement for people living in areas with particularly high infection rates.

The decision came as new coronavirus cases and deaths are running at stubbornly high levels, and officials remain uncertain what effect the Christmas and New Year holidays have had on the situation.

Germany launched a nationwide partial shutdown on Nov. 2, closing restaurants, bars, leisure and sports facilities. That failed to reduce infection figures, and the current lockdown — which closed nonessential shops and schools, and further limited social contacts — took effect Dec. 16. It was initially due to run through Jan. 10.

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