Germany to step up coronavirus measures

Germany has decided to step up its anti-coronavirus measures. This comes after the number of new infections exceeded 60,000 on one day.

The country's infectious disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute, confirmed a record daily high of 65,371 cases on Thursday. It also reported 264 deaths. The institute indicated that the healthcare system in some areas is overloaded.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Thursday that the government will strengthen restrictions in stages. She said steps will be taken based on the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the local populations.

Under the new rules, only vaccinated people will have access to restaurants and other public spaces in areas where there are more than three hospitalized patients per 100,000 people.

If the number of hospitalized patients exceeds six, people will have to present proof of a negative test result to enter bars and nightclubs, even if they are vaccinated.

In Germany, the pace of vaccinations has slowed down, as some individuals remain reluctant to get the shots. The percentage of vaccinated people stood at 67.8 percent as of Thursday.

Merkel called on people to get vaccinated. She stressed that the current pandemic situation is very serious. She added that it would be catastrophic to delay action.