For five days from April 1, Germans are to stay at home and reduce contacts as much as possible. But the late-night agreement did not include a closing of all stores, including essential shops like supermarkets, which Mrs Merkel had called for.
Big family gatherings will be banned over the holidays, with no more than two households, or up to five people, being allowed to meet. The government will ask churches to hold any Easter services online to avoid gatherings.
Economists said the extension of Germany’s lockdown measures would delay a much hoped-for recovery in Europe’s largest economy from spring until early summer.
Talks had dragged on for hours as Mrs Merkel and state leaders were at loggerheads over whether to ease restrictions on domestic travel over the Easter holiday season.
Germans can travel freely even amid the pandemic, but hotels and holiday resorts in the country are not allowed to rent rooms to tourists. That leaves travel abroad as the only option for those who are desperate to go on holidays.
“We advise against all travel abroad,” Mrs Merkel said.
As the vaccine row continued on Monday, it emerged that Britain was willing to consider sharing Dutch-made doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the European Union in a bid to see off Brusselss threat of a jabs export ban.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is understood to be prepared to compromise over the distribution of supplies manufactured at the Halix facility in the Netherlands.
It is an option that could defuse the escalating row between London and Brussels over doses, and allow both sides to save face.