Schools and non-essential businesses in Germany are closing in Germany as the country enters a hard lockdown.

This development has occurred in order to stop a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections.

With one household allowed to host up to four close family members, the measures will be in place until 10 January.

On casualties, and infections, the country recently reported 952 deaths and 27,728 cases on Wednesday.

While commenting on the development, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said the first Covid vaccine would be authorised for use within a week.

In reaction to the situation, Ms von der Leyen disclosed to the European Parliament the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – developed in Germany – would be rolled out for the bloc the same day, more than a week earlier than originally envisaged.

German government said it was pressuring the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to speed up approval of the vaccine. It has already been approved by regulators in the UK and the US.