"The situation is difficult, the incidence is rising, we are growing exponentially," Merkel said in an appearance dedicated primarily to the vaccination campaign.
Merkel said that although she could not anticipate in detail the decisions that will be made on the 22nd in a meeting with the prime ministers of the German federal states ("länder") it is clear that what she has called the "emergency brake" should be applied in the event that the weekly incidence exceeds 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants
"It is good that we have agreed on an emergency brake and we will have to apply it. I would have liked to be able to avoid it but it won’t be possible," he explained.
That will probably imply that non-essential businesses will be closed again - which had been reopened with restrictions - and that the rule that until March 3 prohibited encounters with more than one person living in another address will be returned.
The weekly incidence rose again notably in Germany, to 95.6 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 90 yesterday and 86.2 on Wednesday, while a week ago it was 72.4.
Health authorities registered 17,482 new infections with covid-19 in the last 24 hours, more than 5,000 more than last Friday, and the number of fatalities in one day totaled 226, compared to 252 a week ago, according to data from the Institute Robert Koch (RKI) from Virology updated last midnight.
The peak of incidence had been registered on December 22 with 197.6 and on January 28 it fell below 100 for the first time in three months with a downward trend that remained for a few weeks and then was reversed.
The upward tenure has been explained by the presence of the new variants of the coronavirus considered more aggressive and more contagious.
The increase in incidence had already led many experts to come out in favor of repealing the opening measures.