Germany registers record COVID incidence ahead of planned easing of measures

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By Euronews
A nurse pictured in the intensive care unit at the Westerstede Clinical Center in Germany.
A nurse pictured in the intensive care unit at the Westerstede Clinical Center in Germany.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File

Germany has registered a new record-high seven-day incidence for COVID-19 for the third consecutive day.

More than 297,000 new coronavirus infections were recorded on Friday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

That represents a 22% increase compared to the previous week, the health agency said on Wednesday.

The record number of infections comes as Germany prepares to ease the majority of its anti-virus restrictions this weekend.

The German Bundestag voted on Friday voted in favour of a new law on protection against infectious diseases.

The law allows Berlin to relax most of its measures, such as the widespread use of face masks, social distancing rules, and health passes.

But amid a rise in cases, some German states want to keep protective measures in place until at least 2 April and have called for a vaccine mandate to be introduced.

More than 75% of Germany's population have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 58% have received a booster dose.

Meanwhile, French health minister Olivier Véran said on Wednesday that the current rebound of daily new COVID-19 infections should peak by the end of the month.

Véran defended France's decision to lift most anti-virus restrictions on Monday.

Citizens no longer need to wear face masks in most indoor areas, while unvaccinated French civilians are permitted to enter bars, restaurants, theatres, and other venues.

Additional sources • AP, EFE