Tag: urges

Merkel urges Germans to reduce contacts and travel as infections rise

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to curb social contacts and keep travel to a minimum on Saturday after federal and state governments struggled to agree on how to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections.

FILE PHOTO: Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel removes her mask for the EU summit final news conference at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium October 16, 2020. Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

“We have to do everything to prevent the virus from spreading out of control. Every day counts,” Merkel said in a weekly video podcast.

While Germany’s infection rates are lower than in much of Europe, they have been accelerating and hit a daily record of 7,830 on Saturday, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infections diseases. The death toll rose by 33 to 9,767.

“We have to go further,” Merkel said. “I appeal to you: meet with fewer people, either at home or outside.

“Please forsake any journey that is not absolutely essential, every party that is not absolutely essential. Stay at home, where at all possible.”

Merkel’s appeal came as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier went into quarantine after a bodyguard tested positive for coronavirus, his office said. Steinmeier, whose role is largely ceremonial, has also been tested and is awaiting the result.

German leaders have been unable to agree on tougher measures to contain a second wave. Courts in several regions have, meanwhile, overturned bans on hotel stays for visitors from infection hotspots.

Politicians and health experts have appealed to the public to take voluntary measures over and above those already prescribed – including wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing.

Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg tested positive for coronavirus after attending a meeting with his European Union counterparts on Monday, his spokeswoman said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who also attended the meeting in Luxembourg, tested negative on Friday as did members of his team, his spokesman said.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Frances Kerry and Mike Harrison

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Merkel Urges Germans to Reduce Contacts and Travel to Curb Coronavirus | World News

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans on Saturday to curb social contacts and keep travel to a minimum, making a personal appeal after the federal and state governments struggled to agree on ways to contain a second wave of coronavirus infection.

“We have to do everything to prevent the virus from spreading out of control. Every day counts,” Merkel said in her weekly video podcast.

While Germany’s infection rates have been lower than in much of Europe, they have been accelerating and hit a daily record high of 7,830 on Saturday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infections diseases.

The reported death toll rose by 33 to 9,767.

German leaders were unable this week to reach a consensus on strong new measures to contain the second COVID-19 wave. Courts in several regions have, meanwhile, overturned bans on hotel stays for visitors from infection hotspots.

Politicians and health experts have appealed to the population to take voluntary measures over and above those already prescribed – including wearing masks, avoiding close contact with others and hand washing.

“We have to go further,” Merkel said. “I appeal to you: Meet with fewer people, either at home or outside.

“Please forsake any journey that is not absolutely essential, every party that is not absolutely essential. Stay at home, where at all possible.”

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Trump urges Pelosi, Schumer to end ‘endless vacation’ as layoffs mount

President Trump called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer Friday to cease their “endless vacation” and approve legislation that would help small businesses to keep paying their employees.

“Today people started losing their jobs because of Crazy Nancy Pelosi, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, and the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, who should immediately come back to Washington and approve legislation to help families in America,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “End your Endless Vacation!”

The $350 billion emergency Paycheck Protection Program ran out of money on Thursday, after the Small Business Administration approved loans for more than 1.6 million companies with fewer than 500 employees.

The average loan size was about $240,000.

Democratic leaders have blocked the administration’s request to add $250 billion to the PPP, demanding hundreds of billions more for hospitals and states.



The Democratic-led House left town on March 27, while the Republican-controlled Senate has been holding only “pro forma” sessions with few lawmakers in attendance. Congress is due back in Washington on May 4.

About 800,000 loan applications are “in limbo” because the money ran out, said Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio, Florida Republican. He said more than 70% of the loans were for less than $150,000, meaning the money went to companies with payrolls of less than $60,000 per month.

“I’m not telling you this is a perfect program,” Mr. Rubio said Friday in a video message. “What I am telling you is, there are millions of small businesses with less than 25 or 30 employees that have benefitted from the program, and there are 800,000 of them stuck in limbo because [Democrats] are playing games with the PPP money and that needs to stop. Stop playing games with people’s lives.”

In the past month, nearly 22 million Americans have lost their jobs and filed claims for unemployment benefits.

Staffers for Democratic leaders are holding talks with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin over the impasse.

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