Angela Merkel has announced that shops will begin to open in the country since Germany’s lockdown was first lifted in mid-April
The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel has announced the latest relaxation of restrictions that are in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has said that the first phase of easing measures had passed, but warned that measures will still be in place for a long time to come.
Germany is planning to ease its social distancing measures further to allow for households to socially interact, as well as reopening of shops and resuming sports events, such as the Bundesliga football season.
In the next phase of measures in the country’s response to the global crisis, people from two different households will be allowed to meet up and socially interact, while there are plans for Bundesliga football matches being held later in May.
Back in early April Germany began lifting restrictions on students going to school, as other nations in Europe began to ease their lockdown restrictions.
People will still need to continue observing social distancing measures in Germany, but more shops will also be permitted to reopen in the country, with additional hygiene measures in place to ensure the safety of customers, while mouth and nose coverings will be required when using public transport.
Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Chancellor Merkel said that she believed that Germany had gotten the COVID-19 pandemic under control and said that the next phase of the country’s response would depend on people working within the government’s guidelines.
After agreeing with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states on the measures, she said:
“We are following a bold path,”
“We can afford to be a bit bold but we must remain cautious.”
This news comes as Germany has recorded 167,239 cases of infection of COVID-19 as well as 6,993 coronavirus-related deaths, an easing of restrictions in the country began in mid-April which allowed smaller shops to reopen and requiring people to cover their faces on public transport.
Christian Seifert, the managing director of the German Football League, said the decision was “good news” for the Bundesliga:
He said: “Games without stadium spectators are not an ideal solution for anyone. In a crisis threatening the very existence of some clubs, however, it is the only way to keep the leagues in their current form.”
“On this day, I would like to thank the political decision-makers from the federal and state governments for their trust.”
Hans-Joachim Watzke, the chief executive of Borussia Dortmund, has said that he was “very pleased” to see people had “conducted themselves so magnificently” with how Germany had overcome the worst of the pandemic.
He added: “In this context, we at Borussia Dortmund are aware we have a great responsibility. We will – in the knowledge there can be no guarantees – do everything in our power to ensure the highest possible degree of safety in order to prevent any new infections among the players and their families.”
“Having to play behind closed doors is an enormous challenge, especially for a club like BVB, which draws a lot of strength from the passion of its supporters.”
“However, it would not have been economically viable for the clubs to allow the Bundesliga to pause until spectators were allowed back into the stadiums.”
A University in Germany has also conducted research into the rate of death from COVID-19, predicting that many people could have had the coronavirus without even knowing it, including in the UK where they predicted that 40 times the number of people reported with the virus could have been infected.