In several states of Germany, stricter restrictions have been designed on Tuesday to curb the spread of the coronavirus come into force.

People living in the states of Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, North Rhine Westphalia, Saarland, Saxony, Schleswig Holstein and Thuringia will all face new contact restrictions.

In many places, the measures limit to 10 the number of people who can meet in one place for private gatherings, even if they are vaccinated. This excludes children under 14 years old.

If there are unvaccinated people present, the limit is one household and a maximum of two people from another household.

Similar measures are already in place in much of the rest of the country, as health authorities seek to prevent the spread of the new and more transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Federal and state leaders agreed to impose further restrictions by December 28, with the states individually responsible for implementing the new regulations. Nightclubs are shutting nationwide from Tuesday.

Officials are concerned about a further wave of Covid-19 infections in the new year, with fear growing about the new variant, which is now present in all of Germany’s 16 states.

According to Germany’s national disease control body, the Robert Koch Institute, even if the majority of infections are still caused by the Delta variant, the number of Omicron cases has increased significantly in recent weeks.

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