Despite concerns of a third wave of the pandemic and a sluggish vaccine rollout, some vaccination centres are expected to close over the Easter holidays. This comes as just 15 percent of the German population have been vaccinated.
The nation’s largest-selling tabloid, Bild, wrote: “Chancellor Merkel and numerous experts are warning of the third corona wave.
“Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate was the motto.
“And Germany? In some vaccination centres prefer to take an Easter break.”
Torsten Krauel, chief commentator for German newspaper De Welt, asked: “How can that be at the beginning of the third wave?
“It sounds like daily grind and junk, it looks like a television blackout in the middle of a Bundesliga Saturday, like a holy weekend for the fire brigade when the church roof is on fire on Sundays.”
Mr Krauel continued his attack on Ms Merkel saying the Easter break “leads to impatience that is a widespread as it is understandable”.
Leave.EU took to Twitter to mock the German leaders and said: “German leaders pummelled by the press for this… Because everyone knows COVID-19 takes the holidays off!”
It is believed vaccination centres in Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saarland will be shut on at least some days over the long weekend.
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Ms Merkel admitted the decision to extend restrictions – which urged people to stay at home for five days around Easter – was a “mistake” and took full responsibility for it.
She said: “The idea of the so-called Easter-Rest was a mistake, there were good reasons for it, but was not possible to implement it well enough in such a short time, if it will ever be implementable in a way that effort and benefits are in a reasonable balance.
“And I want to be clear about something else: this mistake is solely my mistake.
“Because in the end, I am responsible for everything qua office.
“Therefore also for the decision on Monday about the so-called Easter rest.
“A mistake has to be called a mistake and above all it has to be corrected, and if possible this has to be done in time.
“At the same time I know that this whole process will cause additional uncertainty.
“I deeply regret this and for this I ask for forgiveness from all citizens.
“I regret this additional uncertainty even more so because we are, and unfortunately that is still true, in the third wave of the pandemic caused by the mutations.”
The Easter “rest-days” were originally for five days between Maundy Thursday and Easter Monday.