The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has returned to work after two weeks of home quarantine.
Merkel went into quarantine on Sunday, March 22, after she had contact with a doctor who then tested positive for the coronavirus.
In a video released hours after she resumed work on Friday, she urged Germans to continue to stay at home and said it would be “irresponsible” to give a date for when restrictions on public life would end.
“We will all experience a very different Easter than ever before,” Merkel said in a video message posted late on Friday, in her first remarks to the nation after leaving quarantine.
The German chancellor said it was necessary to forgo all social traditions during the Easter holiday to continue to keep the spread of he pandemic to minimum.
While for many Germans Easter meant going to church, spending time with family, friends or relatives, Merkel said: “But not this year.”
Describing current restrictions as “vital,” she said it would be “irresponsible” to give a date for them to be eased or lifted.
The current rules will remain in place until at least April 19.
Germans have been banned from meeting in groups of more than two people.
Restaurants, theatres, cinemas, bars and children’s play areas are closed, along with many shops.
Merkel said her government was doing everything it could to see the nation through a testing time.
Her comments came after it emerged the German government was working on a series of new measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now the work continues from the chancellery,” with social-distancing measures in place, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said of Merkel’s return..
The government has ordered all citizens to stay at home when possible and stick to social-distancing rules to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.