Germany is to close most shops and schools, and limit social contact from the middle of December to January 10, Angela Merkel announced on Sunday.
The measures are an effort to drive down the rate of coronavirus infections that have remained stubbornly high in the country in recent weeks.
The German Chancellor said she and the governors of Germany’s 16 states had agreed to step up the country’s lockdown measures from December 16 to January 10 to stop the exponential rise of Covid-19 cases.
“We are forced to act, and we’re acting too,” Mrs. Merkel said.
Existing restrictions imposed in November have failed to significantly reduce the number of new infections, she said.
Germany recorded 20,200 newly confirmed cases and 321 additional deaths on Sunday,a high number for the weekend when many local authorities do not report figures.