Germany announced plans to extend lockdown restrictions until April 18 amid a sharp rise in infections.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “We have not yet been able to defeat the virus, it does not give up. We are in a race with vaccination.”
Germany is in a “very serious situation” with rising infections, heightened pressure on intensive care units, and the spread of more contagious variants, she added.
The stricter lockdown over Easter comes amid calls by health experts for a full lockdown with a night curfew.
Since it administered its first shot in December, Germany has only vaccinated 9 percent of the nation, as 7.5 million first doses and 3.3 million second doses have been administered so far.
Germany has only been offering shots at specific vaccine centers and not at doctors’ offices.
Merkel has acknowledged the sluggish speed of the inoculations and said doctors’ offices should be able to vaccinate patients starting April 1.