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Germany will enter a hard lockdown from Wednesday, with nonessential stores shuttered, employers urged to close workplaces and school children encouraged to remain at home.

The tighter restrictions — including a ban on gatherings over the New Year — will last until at least Jan. 10 after a looser shutdown failed to halt a surge in daily coronavirus infections and deaths. Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed the measures with the heads of Germany’s 16 states in talks Sunday and warned of rising pressure on the nation’s health system.

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