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German Chancellor Angela Merkel puts on a face mask after a press conference following talks via video conference with Germany's state premiers on the extension of the current lockdown due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, at the Chancellery in Berlin on January 19, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Berlin: Germany extended and toughened a partial lockdown to February 14, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday, in a bid to halt coronavirus transmission and prevent virus variants believed to be more contagious from propagating in the country.

Companies are asked to allow workers to work from home in order to reduce traffic on public transport.

Medical masks — that is surgical or the higher protection FFP2 masks — are also required in public transport or essential shops such as supermarkets which have been allowed to stay open.

Schools, non-essential shops, restaurants, leisure and sporting facilities will remain closed.