March 22, 2020 / 5:22 PM / 14 days ago

Germany bans meetings of more than two people in public

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a media statement on the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 22, 2020. Michel Kappeler/Pool via REUTERS

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany tightened curbs on social interaction on Sunday, including a ban on public meetings of more than two people, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“The great aim is to gain time in the fight against the virus,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told a press briefing.

For at least the next two weeks, people will not be allowed to form groups of more than two in public unless they live together in the same household or the gathering is work-related, she added.

As part of a bundle of stricter rules, restaurants can only offer takeaway services and hairdressers and beauty, massage and tattoo parlours must close.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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