Merkel drops Easter shutdown plan for Germany, apologizes

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday dropped plans for a five-day shutdown over Easter, which had prompted confusion and criticism. She called the idea a mistake and apologized to Germans.

Merkel announced the decision after a hastily arranged videoconference with Germany’s 16 state governors, who are responsible for imposing and lifting restrictions. The same group, faced with rising coronavirus infections, had come up early Tuesday with the unexpected plan for tighter restrictions over Easter.

The plan was to make Thursday next week — the day before Good Friday — a “rest day,” with all shops closed, and allow only supermarkets to open on Easter Saturday. Since the Friday and Monday are already national holidays, that would have created a five-day shutdown of public life — on top of existing lockdown restrictions, which were extended through April 18.

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Source: AP