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Germany to extend coronavirus lockdown until March 28

garden centers, nail studios and hair salons open after lockdown lifted in saxony
Hairdresser Nadine Boestfleisch serves customer Alexander Urban as her salon reopens after a months-long lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Dresden, Germany, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel

Germany plans to extend its coronavirus lockdown until March 28 while easing some restrictions from next week, a draft document to be discussed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and federal state leaders showed on Tuesday.

Merkel is due to discuss lockdown and easing options with the 16 state heads on Wednesday, as coronavirus cases in Germany hit more than 2.4 million and public frustration mounts over restrictive measures and a sluggish vaccine roll-out.

The draft document, seen by Reuters, states that starting from March 8 a maximum of five people from two households, excluding children younger than 14, will be allowed to meet, up from a maximum of two people under current rules.

Flower and book stores, garden centres, tatoo and nail parlours as well as massage salons will also be allowed to reopen.

Merkel and state leaders will have to decide at which 7-day incidence rate per 100,000 residents measures could be either toughened or eased. The document cited 35 and 50 as two likely possibilities.

With Easter approaching, the draft agreement also appeals to Germans to avoid domestic and foreign travel, adding, however, that limited visits to relatives will be allowed over the festive days.

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