German chancellor Angela Merkel says ''our efforts to control the virus are being threatened by the new mutation that is spreading,'' and she announces that the lockdown will be extended to the 14 Feb.
Merkel says the variant is present in Germany, but not currently dominant.
Says ''we have agreed further curbs on public life this evening.''
The next round of talks was originally scheduled for January 25, but leaders called for the meeting to be moved up, as the current restrictions are set to expire at the end of the month.
Germany has closed schools, non-essential shops, bars and restaurants under a lockdown that has been in effect since early November, but the number of new infections has not been substantially reduced.
The risks are a weight on the euro while the IS dollar picks up a safe haven bid, having climbed around 2% so far in 2021.
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