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Merkel, German mayors agree stricter anti-COVID measures

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a media statement after a video conference with mayors of German cities on the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Berlin, Germany October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and mayors from Germany’s 11 largest cities agreed on Friday to adopt stricter anti-coronavirus measures if infections exceed a threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 in a week.

Restrictions could include tighter rules on mask-wearing, restrictions on private gatherings and stricter rules on buying alcohol, Merkel said, adding that her top priority was to avoid shutting down the economy and society again, as in the spring.

Merkel and the mayors would meet again in two weeks to review whether the measures had been effective, she said, adding: “We have proven that we can stand together against the virus and we should do that again.”

Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Thomas Escritt