Record COVID incidence in Germany before planned easing of measures

Germany has registered a new record-high seven-day incidence for COVID-19 for the second consecutive day.

As many as 262,593 new coronavirus infections were recorded on Wednesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). That represents a 22% increase compared to the previous week, the health agency said.

The record number of infections comes as Germany prepares to ease the majority of its anti-virus restrictions this weekend.

On Wednesday, the German Bundestag is debating a draft amendment to the law on protection against infectious diseases.

The law would allow Berlin to relax most of its measures, such as the widespread use of face masks, social distancing rules, and health passes.

But amid a rise in cases, some German states want to keep protective measures in place until at least 2 April.

More than 75% of Germany’s population have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 58% have received a booster dose.

Meanwhile, French health minister Olivier Véran said on Wednesday that the current rebound of daily new COVID-19 infections should peak by the end of the month.

Véran defended France’s decision to lift most anti-virus restrictions on Monday.

Citizens no longer need to wear face masks in most indoor areas, while unvaccinated French civilians are permitted to enter bars, restaurants, theatres, and other venues.