GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel is in quarantine after a doctor who gave her a vaccine tested positive for coronavirus.

Ms Merkel, 65, was informed about the doctor’s test shortly after holding a news conference Sunday about new measures to curb the spread of the virus, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

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 Ms Merkel, 65, was informed about the doctor's test shortly after holding a news conference Sunday Ms Merkel, 65, was informed about the doctor’s test shortly after holding a news conference SundayCredit: EPA

The Chancellor had received a precautionary vaccine against pneumococcal infection on Friday, Mr Seibert said.

Seibert said in a statement that Merkel would undergo “regular tests” in the coming days and continue with her work from home for the time being.

Merkel had earlier expressed her gratitude to Germans who were following the rules on social distancing, saying it was important to remain at least 1.5 meters (about five feet) apart to reduce the likelihood of infection.

“Thank you. I know it means making sacrifices, both personal and economic,” Ms Merkel said.

“I am very moved that so many people are obeying the rules. That’s how we show that we care for older people and the sick, for whom the virus is the most dangerous. In short, that’s how we save lives.

“The great aim is to gain time in the fight against the virus.”

With a certain distance the risk of infections is reduced almost to zero. Whether you are half a meter apart or 1.5 meters apart makes a huge difference.

Angela Merkel

She also announced a nationwide ban on public meetings of more than two people outside work, saying the ban would be in place for at least two weeks.

Ms Merkel is now working home home for the time being, according to her spokesman.

The development illustrated how even world leaders aren’t free from the risk of infection.

“With a certain distance the risk of infections is reduced almost to zero,” Merkel told reporters.

“Whether you are half a meter apart or 1.5 meters apart makes a huge difference.”

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