The German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on Sunday in quarantine after
meeting a doctor who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, as Germany
further tightens rules on public gatherings.
News of Merkel’s potential exposure to the virus came minutes after she announced a ban on public gatherings of more than two people and further infection control measures.
Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s spokesman announced in a press statement on Sunday that Angela Merkel is going into home quarantine immediately, after a doctor who gave her a vaccination on Friday had tested positive for coronavirus,
Sunday, Merkel had announced still-tighter restrictions on public gatherings
after a telephone conference with regional leaders that aimed to get Germany’s
16 federal states into a common policy.
She had earlier expressed her gratitude to Germans who were following the rules on social distancing, saying it was important to remain at least 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) apart to reduce the likelihood of infection.
Merkel said at the televised press briefing that Germany would ban public meetings of more than two people. She said that the great aim was to gain time in the fight against the virus. “For at least the next two weeks, people will not be allowed to form groups of three or more in public unless they live together in the same household, or the gathering is work-related”, she added.
It was not immediately clear whether Merkel will isolate herself in a rarely-used official residence in the top floor of the chancellery building or at her personal flat in Berlin’s museum district.
After putting Merkel in isolation, her role would be filled by
vice-chancellor and finance minister Olaf Scholz of her junior coalition
partners, the Centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Scholz last week isolated himself at home with a heavy cold, but tweeted a day later that he had tested negative for the coronavirus.
Seibert said Merkel would undergo regular tests in the coming days and continue with her work from home for the time being.