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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Second German area locked down after outbreak

German authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have reimposed lockdown restrictions in two districts after a spike in cases, with more than half a million people affected.

One area is home to a meatpacking plant where more than 1,500 workers have tested positive.

State premier Armin Laschet said the “preventative measures” in Gütersloh district would last until 30 June.

Neighbouring Warendorf district has also seen restrictions return.

The state’s health minister, Karl-Josef Laumann, announced the second lockdown just hours after the first, saying further measures were needed “in order to protect the population”.

It is the first time lockdowns have been reintroduced in Germany since the country began lifting nationwide restrictions in May.

Germany has been praised for its overall response to the pandemic, but there are fears infections are rising again.

Authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia had been among those strongly pushing Chancellor Angela Merkel to ease national restrictions in recent months.

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