Germany Plans Business Closures Amid Uptick In COVID Cases

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To fight a rise of COVID-19 infections in a country that has had a better experience than many of its European peers, state and federal authorities in Germany have opted to institute a partial lockdown for a month, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the government would cover as much as three-quarters of the lost sales of impacted companies that have under 50 employees. The chancellor also said that larger companies will get support in line with the restrictions of European Union state aid law.

As part of an effort to stem the rise of cases, premiers from the country’s 16 states have consented to close theaters, concert venues, fitness facilities, bars and eateries beginning Nov. 2. In addition, hotels will only accept business travelers as guests up to the close of the month.

The news comes as a PYMNTS study found that people are expecting it to take another year before they are fully ready to return to pre-pandemic life, as cases are surging and no vaccine is yet available. The study, conducted among both companies and consumers, found that nearly no one expects to be able to return to normalcy before that time.

And any last hope for an end to the COVID-19 crisis in the next few months to come seems to be fading, with two more setbacks emerging on the research front. Albert Bourla, the chief executive of Pfizer, told investors that the company won’t be releasing COVID-19 vaccine data prior to the Nov. 3 election. Moreover, the Feds have halted a clinical trial that used two COVID-19 treatments in conjunction to see if that would bolster results in hospitalized patients.

Meanwhile, governments throughout Europe are putting social distancing procedures back into place as the coronavirus comes back after a quiet period in the summer, leading to broad worry about a new wave of negative economic impacts.

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