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By dailymail.co.uk

Local authorities in Germany are bringing back lockdown measures after coronavirus infections spiked just days after Angela Merkel started to ease them.

Germany has 16 federal states, with the power to relax restrictions, who have all agreed to reimpose lockdown if new cases hit 50 per 100,000 people over seven days. 

The regional government in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populated state,  recorded a spike in coronavirus cases after 150 of 1,200 employees tested positive at a slaughterhouse in Coesfeld. 

Pictured: the slaughterhouse in Coesfeld that saw 150 out of 1,200 employees test positive for the virus

Pictured: the slaughterhouse in Coesfeld that saw 150 out of 1,200 employees test positive for the virus

Germany recorded 1,268 new cases today according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre

Germany recorded 1,268 new cases today according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre 

The regional government has postponed reopening restaurants, tourist spots, fitness studios and larger shops which was supposed to happen on May 11. 

Reopening schools and daycare centres is set to go ahead as planned. 

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said the slaughterhouse infection rate had pushed the region above 50 per 100,000 people to 61 per 100,000 people.  

Minister for Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Ursula Heinen-Esser  (pictured left) reimposed lockdown restrictions in Coesfeld (entrance sign pictured right) after a spike in coronavirus infections

He closed the slaughterhouse temporarily and said employees at all of the state’s meat processing plants would be tested. 

Germany recorded 117 new deaths today according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre

Germany recorded 117 new deaths today according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre

A different slaughterhouse in the northern state Schleswig-Holstein also saw a rise in employees testing positive for the virus taking the district’s infection rate over the 50 per 100,000 people threshold.  

In the eastern state of Thuringia, the local government recorded more than 80 infections per 100,000 people over the past week. 

The majority of these infections were among employees and residents in six care homes and one geriatrics hospital.  

This is a setback to Angela Merkel’s efforts to ease Germany’s lockdown measures on Wednesday.  

She said the country had defeated ‘the first phase of the pandemic’ because it had a slowing infection rate and a low mortality rate. 

Germany has 169,430 confirmed cases and 7,392 deaths.   

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