Big events, including football matches, will now take place without fans.
Many hope the measures will encourage people to get vaccinated, as Mr Scholz warned: “It is only a matter of weeks before Omicron is dominant here”.
The chancellor tweeted on Tuesday evening: “I can understand everyone who doesn’t want to hear about mutations and virus variants, especially before Christmas.
“But we must not close our eyes to the Omicron wave that looms in front of us.”
He added: “We have to stand together and still keep our distance so that our country can get through well in the near future.”
Mr Scholz said nightclubs and discos would stay shut and major national events will not be open to the public.
There is also a ban on gathering and fireworks on New Year’s Eve, the chancellor said.
Meanwhile officials at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases have called for “maximum contact restrictions” to be imposed at once.
But the restrictions have been met with some resistance, with thousands in Germany and across Europe taking to the streets to protest.
The country has recorded a total of 6.83 million cases and 109,000 deaths, according to the latest published data.
The region of North Rhine-Westphalia has reported 1.32 million cases and almost 20,000 deaths compared with the capital Berlin which has 313,000 cases and just under 4,000 deaths.