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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel has apologized and admitted an error over plans to impose a five-day shutdown in Germany over Easter.
Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Germany's chancellor scrapped the proposal, which had provoked criticism and confusion.
"An error must be called an error and, more importantly, it must be corrected and if possible in time," said Merkel.
"I know that this proposal has caused further uncertainty, I deeply regret it, and for that, I ask forgiveness from all citizens."
The plan was to make Thursday next week — the day before Good Friday — a “rest day,” with all shops closed, and only allow supermarkets to open on Easter Saturday.
Since Friday and Monday are already holidays, that would have created a five-day shutdown of public life — on top of existing lockdown restrictions, which were extended through April 18.
But Merkel announced the decision had been reviewed after she had called a hastily arranged videoconference on Wednesday with Germany’s 16 state governors, who are responsible for imposing and lifting restrictions. The same group had come up with the unexpected plan for deeper restrictions over Easter, which was announced early Tuesday.
The plan had raised many questions about logistical details, which remained unresolved, and also was criticized because there had been no public discussion of it before it emerged in the small hours of Tuesday.
Merkel said the decision was taken with good intentions, but it is now clear it was a mistake, adding it was "my mistake alone".
It comes as many countries across Europe suspend the lifting of restrictions in a bid to try and stop a new wave of COVID-19 infections. — Euronews
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