The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced on Wednesday evening that Germany will enter into a national lockdown from 2 November.
All pubs and bars will close, and restaurants will close but will only be allowed to provide takeaway orders.
All gyms, cinemas and theatres will close, hotels will be closed to tourists and can only remain open for essential reasons.
Non-essential travel is discouraged, although it is not clear if the borders are closed. Gatherings of more than 10 will be banned and schools, nurseries and day centres will also remain open.
Merkel said that she “wants to make sure” nursing homes can allow visitors, but this will be reviewed in two-weeks.
Merkel said, “We need to take action now,” adding the key to defusing the “very serious” situation which is aimed at reducing contacts and will limit the damage to the economy.
She added, “If the pace of infections continues like this, then we’ll reach the limits of what the health system can manage within weeks.”
“Our hope is that this will give us a chance to de-escalate this dramatic situation,” said Berlin’s Mayor Michael Mueller.
The executive director of the WHO health emergencies programme, Dr Michael Ryan said that governments “take some serious acceleration” with “much more” stricter measures to combat the virus.
Dr Ryan told a press conference, “There’s no question that the European region is an epicentre for disease right now.
“Right now we are well behind this virus in Europe so getting ahead of it is going to take some serious acceleration in what we do and maybe much more comprehensive nature of measures that are going to be needed.”