German Chancellor Merkel discusses COVID-19 measures after meeting regional leaders (Reuters photo)
Germany is planning an almost complete return to normality in the coming days, with schools and shops reopening and the return of top-flight Bundesliga football matches, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday after a meeting with the heads of the country’s 16 states.
“We can say today that we have the very first phase of the pandemic behind us,” Merkel said, but urged Germans to stick to social-distancing rules to stem the risks of a second wave of infections.
I n the second major phase of lifting Germany’s lockdown, schools and day cares, restaurants and hotels, stores and nursing homes will be allowed to resume business in the coming days. If at any point, the rate of new infections in a region reaches more than 50 per 100,000 people, a strict lockdown will be reimposed.
T he UK too is planning to ease its coronavirus lockdown from Monday. PM Boris Johnson said he would announce details to the nation this Sunday. “We will want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday.”
Countries are taking cautious steps toward easing restrictions, but the fallout from widespread lockdowns demonstrates the pressure to get economies moving even though the virus still poses a grave threat.