Germany agrees new contact limits to curb COVID-19

People pass by a Christmas tree close to the Brandenburg gate during evening light, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany December 21, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Germany will introduce new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus including limiting private gatherings for vaccinated people to a maximum of 10 people before New Year's Eve, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday.

Scholz also agreed with the premiers of Germany's 16 federal states that big events, including football matches, would take place without spectators.

Although the steps already introduced, aimed mainly at encouraging people to get vaccinated, were having an effect, a fifth wave threatened Germany, especially due to the omicron variant, Scholz told reporters.

"It is only a matter of weeks before omicron is dominant here," said Scholz.

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Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Sarah Marsh

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