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German Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to pull the plug on harsh Covid restrictions planned during the Easter holiday, after the decree caused an uproar among the public as well as within her own party.

Earlier today, Merkel told state premiers that she was dropping the five-day lockdown, which would have closed all businesses, with supermarkets only permitted to operate for one day during the period.

The decision to not implement the draconian style lockdown comes after Merkel was barraged by criticism over the measures. The ban on church services was particularly controversial, with clergy and even Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, a longtime political ally, urging the chancellor to reconsider.

Some state leaders had already announced that they would not abide by the rule. Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer said that his state would not prevent churches from holding in-person services.

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