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Germany to put all arrivals in 14-day quarantine

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A man wearing a protective mask, walks down a street as the sun shines in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district on April 5, 2020, amid the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. (Photo by David GANNON / AFP)

Germany will put all arriving travellers in quarantine for 14 days, the interior ministry said Monday, as Berlin ramps up entry curbs to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure, which will come into force on April 10, is expected to affect mostly German or EU nationals and residents, as the European Union has already banned all arrivals from outside the bloc.

Workers in the health sector living outside Germany in border regions will be exempted from the restriction, which will also not apply for business travellers entering for a short period of time.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had decided on the toughened rule during a cabinet meeting focus on the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

During the same meeting, which is ongoing, ministers agreed that 100 percent of loans made by banks to small- and medium-sized firms will be guaranteed by the state.

The federal government will stand fully behind 500,000 euros ($540,000) of lending to companies with up to 50 employees and 800,000 euros for larger ones, upping its guarantee level from a previous 80 percent for large firms or 90 percent for smaller ones.

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