German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday extended and tightened the country's COVID-19 lockdown to January 31 as the virus death toll surpassed the 35,000 mark
Merkel made the announcement after meeting with the country's 16 state governors for deliberations on the lockdown extension and a possible reopening of schools.
She said the decision to extend the lockdown was because "we must further reduce our social contacts in order to fight" the pandemic.
Most non-food shops, bars, cultural and leisure facilities as well as schools will remain closed.
On Tuesday, Germany reported 944 COVID-19-related deaths, taking the total number of virus-related fatalities to 35,518.
The country rolled out a mass vaccination drive on 26 December, and by Monday, nearly 265,000 people had received the jab.