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New curfew looms in Kaiserslautern as coronavirus cases climb

A person walks through the pedestrian zone in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The city, which is home to a large U.S. military community, will be under a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew starting Friday, April 16, 2021, following a sharp rise in new coronavirus infections.

CHAD GARLAND/STARS AND STRIPES

By MARCUS KLOECKNER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 14, 2021

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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A curfew will go into effect in Kaiserslautern at the end of the week after the city saw a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, officials said Wednesday.

People who live in the city and nearby villages, including thousands of members of the large U.S. military community, will have to stay indoors between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. starting Friday, unless they’re walking their dog or otherwise caring for a pet, traveling to or from work, or for urgent medical needs.

The curfew will remain in place until May 7, at least.

It was imposed after new coronavirus cases in the city nearly doubled in the past week, rising from around 50 per 100,000 residents to more than 100 per 100,000, and stayed there for three days.

A hundred new infections per 100,000 people in one week is the level at which most German authorities say the “emergency brake” has to be applied and restrictions tightened to slow the spread of the virus. The average rate of new infections around the country over the past week was 153 per 100,000, according to Germany's public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute.

Eighteen other restrictions will also take effect in Kaiserslautern Friday to try to bring the rising infection rate under control. Key among them are that grocery stores will have to close by 9 p.m., private social gatherings will be limited to one additional person from a different household, and museums and exhibitions will be shuttered, the city said in a statement.

The restrictions apply to Kaiserslautern city, Einsiedlerhof, Morlautern, Erlenbach, Moelschbach, Dansenberg, Hohenecken, Siegelbach and Erfenbach, officials said.

The 20,000 U.S. military personnel, civilians and their families who live in Stuttgart will also have to remain at home between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., starting Friday, after the new infection rate there climbed to 149 per 100,000 residents over the last seven days, city officials said.

kloeckner.marcus@stripes.com