German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for the resumption of tough coronavirus restrictions in the face of a rising number of cases.

“It would be good to take seriously what the scientists are telling us,” she said. “We will not be able to vaccinate so many people in the first quarter of 2021 – which is the winter quarter – that we will see a significant change.”

Germany has been in a partial lockdown for almost two months, with schools and shops open but bars and restaurants closed.

January 10 has emerged as a date when schools should resume after the Christmas holidays, a period which could provoke a spike in infections. Some legislators have called for shops to be closed from after Christmas until the same date and for the same reason.

Mrs Merkel told parliament on Wednesday that it would be a mistake to rely on the vaccine alone.

FILE PHOTO: Angela Merkel in the Bundestag Reuters