Germany backtracks on Easter shutdown plans

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Mar 24, 2021, 08:53 PM IST

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (file photo). Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

"This mistake is mine alone," Merkel said

Germany on Wednesday backtracked on its plan to impose strict Easter weekend shutdown after opposition from the public. Germany on Wednesday said it would scrap plans to close most shops in the country over Easter from April 1 to 5 after facing stinging criticism of the plan. 

The government instead asked people to stay home over the holiday and Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a mea culpa after reversing the measures.

"This mistake is mine alone," Merkel said. "The whole process has caused additional uncertainty, for which I ask all citizens to forgive me." 

Meanwhile, the European Union said it was going to tighten vaccine export controls in a bid to give boost to its stuttering.

'Big lesson in humility'

Elsewhere on the continent, Belgium said it would bring in a new partial lockdown for four weeks, closing schools and limiting access to non-essential shops as it sought to quell a third wave.

The pandemic "is a big lesson in humility for politicians, for everyone," Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in announcing the measures.
Poland meanwhile recorded its highest daily infections with nearly 30,000 new cases, while the Netherlands extended coronavirus restrictions until April 20. 

And Norway said it would roll out new restrictions this week, including banning alcohol sales at bars and restaurants. 

Vaccines are seen as the way out of the pandemic that has now killed more than 2.7 million people around the world and plunged the global economy into a recession not seen in decades. 

(With AFP inputs)