Germany’s government announced plans to extend coronavirus lockdown until April 18, urging people to stay at home for five days around the Easter holidays. This came as Europe entered its third wave of the virus.
But now, the German Chancellor has made a dramatic U-turn on the plans following widespread criticism.
Ms Merkel admitted the decision was a “mistake” and she takes full responsibility for it.
She said: “It was a mistake.
“I am responsible for it.
“If possible, it has to be corrected in good time.
“I think that is still possible.”
The Easter “rest-days” were originally for five days between Maundy Thursday and Easter Monday.
Under the measures, only supermarkets would have been allowed to reopen on Easter Sunday as the country attempted to curb the spread of the virus.
Ms Merkel’s U-turned was welcomed by Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder and CDU boss Armin Laschet.
They said: “In the end, everyone involved was responsible, after all, the responsible ministries were also asked during the night whether the Easter rest was legally possible.”
Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther said the decision by the German Chancellor would “create trust”.
This U-turn comes after Germany started easing lockdown restrictions earlier this month.
More to follow…