Germany has implemented a "contact ban" rather than a full nationwide lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel said in a press conference Sunday that the country would toughen measures and "reduce contact with people as much as possible."
"To that end, Germany will ban gatherings of more than two people," Merkel said.
Merkel extrapolated on the ban in a phone conversation between herself and the 16 German state premiers on Sunday, saying a contact ban will be implemented, meaning no more than two people would be allowed to interact with each other — with the exceptions of families and people living together.
Merkel said that "a minimum distance of 1.5 to 2 meters" should be adhered to and meetings in groups are now unacceptable and will be sanctioned if not adhered to.
Further, Merkel added that restaurants, as well as hair salons, and tattoo shops will also be shut down.
Merkel said these measures would be in place for at least two weeks.