Angela Merkel breaks silence after leaving quarantine

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

Germany chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Germans to remain at home over the upcoming Easter holiday.

Markel noted that it would be “irresponsible” to give a date for when restrictions on public life would end.

“We will all experience a very different Easter than ever before,” Merkel said in a video message posted late on Friday, in her first remarks to the nation since herself leaving quarantine.

Contrary to their usual traditions, Germans must continue to forgo all social contact over the Easter holiday, the chancellor said in her weekly podcast, in order to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum.

While for many Germans Easter meant going to church, spending time with family, friends or relatives, Merkel said: “But not this year.”

Describing current restrictions as “vital,” she said it would be “irresponsible” to give a date for them to be eased or lifted.

The current rules will remain in place until at least April 19.

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Germans have been banned from meeting in groups of more than two people.

Restaurants, theatres, cinemas, bars, and children’s play areas are closed, along with many shops.

Speaking hours after she returned to her office after two weeks of home quarantine, Merkel sought to reassure viewers her government was doing everything it could to see the nation through a testing time.

Her comments came after it emerged the German government was working on a series of new measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now the work continues from the chancellery,” with social-distancing measures in place, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said of Merkel’s return.

She went into quarantine on March 22, two days after she had contact with a doctor who then tested positive for the coronavirus.

She herself tested negative three times.