The German federal government and the Prime Ministers of the German federal states have decided to extend the current state of lockdown until Feb. 14, 2021.
The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel also decided to impose more drastic measures, such as mandatory medical face masks in public transport and shops. The government also wants to expand work from home.
Restaurants, bars, and cultural venues will remain closed. The German government is worried about the spread of the novel B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as it has been demonstrated that the variant is also spreading more strongly among children and adolescents. Virologist Melanie Brinkmann from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research stated that the country was in a critical phase of the pandemic, as the new variant would be able to quickly prevail against the other variants and become the dominant strain.
Many German theaters, concert halls, and opera houses have already closed until April 2021. The Semperoper Dresden has canceled the remaining part of its regular 2020-21 season and announced its intention to launch an alternative program between April and July 2021.