On 13 December 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the country will be under a lockdown from 16 December to 10 January 2021 in an effort to stem the surge of COVID-19 cases. During the lockdown period, nonessential businesses and schools will shut down while social gatherings will be limited to a maximum of five people from two different households. The restriction on gatherings will be eased from 24 December to 26 December, during which time a household will be allowed to host a maximum of four immediate relatives from other households. Meanwhile, the state of Bavaria is set to expand the 2100 to 0500 local time (2000 to 0400 UTC) nightly curfew currently in effect for areas with higher infection rates to the entire state starting on 16 December and continuing through 5 January 2021.