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Most Germans on board with coronavirus lockdown

Just 20% of people oppose the new lockdown measures, according to a new survey. Even the majority of far-right AfD voters support the lockdown.

Anti coronavirus protesters in Dusseldorf in November

Just 20% of respondents are opposed to the measures, however there have been regular, passionate protests against lockdowns

People in Germany largely support the new lockdown measures even as they enter a new round of hard restrictions, a poll revealed on Wednesday.

About 73% of the public support the new measures, in which non-essential shops are closed and students are forced back into remote learning, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by German news agency DPA.

Just 20% of respondents said they opposed the new measures, and 7% made no comment. Even among supporters of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party — which has positioned itself in opposition to lockdowns — 51% supported the restrictions, while 43% were against it.

Support for measures is highest among Green voters (90%), the ruling conservative CDU/CSU supporters (86%), their Social Democrat coalition partners the SPD (85%), the Left (72%) and the business-friendly FDP (71%).

The new round of restrictions came on top of other restrictions, in which gyms, pools, theaters, cinemas, restaurants, bars and similar businesses are closed, meetings are restricted to five people from two households, and hotels are closed for tourists.

Those restrictions failed to reign in a growing number of coronavirus infections, with up to 30,000 new infections being reported each day. 

The aim is to reduce the infection rate to 50 per 100,000 residents over seven days. It currently stands at 179.8.

Coronavirus deaths also hit a new record on Wednesday, with almost 1,000 people dying from COVID-19 in just 24 hours, although that number may have been partially inflated by late reporting from one state.

The harder restrictions will remain in place until at least January 10. However, the rules should be relaxed slightly over Christmas to allow families to celebrate.

There have been some protests against lockdown, with authorities in the eastern city of Leipzig preparing for a demonstration on Saturday by the Querdenken (Lateral Thinking) movement. 

A previous Querdenken protest in Leipzig on November 7 attracted about 20,000 people, most without masks or social distancing.

State authorities are preparing hundreds of vaccination centers to open their days as soon as the European Medical Agency approves the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for use.

aw/rc (dpa, Reuters, AP)

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