German minister snubs Merkel handshake as Germany fights virus


German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, on Monday raised a rare laugh when he refused to shake the hand of his boss, Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a meeting in Berlin.


This happened amidst Germany’s efforts to contain an outbreak of coronavirus that has infected 150 people.

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A short video of the event that made the rounds rapidly online showed Merkel joining a migration meeting in the German capital, walking behind Seehofer’s chair and then offering to shake his hand.

The minister put into action the medical advice to hinder the spread of the coronavirus, including thorough hand hygiene and avoiding too much bodily contact and refusal to shake.

Merkel, however, held her hands up, as both political veterans and many other attendees, laughed off the incident.

On Friday Merkel said at an event in her Stralsund constituency that she would not be shaking anyone’s hand.

The integration summit being held in the Berlin chancellery was focused on what potential immigrants to Germany should know before arriving in the country.

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