German Health Minister Jens Spahn has developed “cold-like symptoms” after testing positive for coronavirus, but no other members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet will be isolated to avoid spreading the virus.

Spahn was immediately moved into self-isolation after testing positive for the virus on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he met with other cabinet members, but a government spokesman reportedly said the German ministers gathered “in compliance with hygiene and distance rules, which aim to ensure that even if a person who later tests positive were to participate, quarantining of other or even all participants would not be necessary.”

The health minister’s diagnosis comes amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Germany. Merkel and the mayors of 11 large German cities agreed last week to impose tougher restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, Spahn called on citizens to sacrifice for now so “we can all regain our freedoms as soon as possible.” He added, “We can all do something. We can all make a difference.”

Germany has had nearly 400,000 infections since the pandemic started earlier this year, including a record number of cases in the past week. The new restrictions include stricter rules on wearing masks, as well as curfews, and limits on alcohol sales.

„Wir alle können etwas tun – wir alle können einen Unterschied machen.” @jensspahn appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger, abzuwägen, worauf sie jetzt verzichten können, damit wir alle möglichst bald unsere Freiheiten zurückgewinnen können.

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