German chancellor Angela Merkel announced this week plans to ease lockdown restrictions in Germany through the end of May. Among the highlights: Bar, restaurants, shops and hotels will reopen, socializing (limited to two households) can occur, Bundesliga soccer will begin play and children will be able to attend class, plus more.
Germany went into lockdown in March in order to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 (coronavirus). In her announcement on Wednesday, according to Reuters, chancellor Merkel said the reproduction rate has consistently been below 1—which means that one person with the virus is infecting fewer than one other person (on average).
Should infection rates increase again, she also mentioned how an “emergency break” for any region that shows daily infections exceeding 50 people per 100,000 inhabitants for seven days. This would reapply restrictions for the region under the number falls back under 50 for seven days, according to The New York Times.
About the reopening: Social distancing measures will remain in place (five feet) and face masks covering your mouth and nose are still required in public, including shops and transportation. Restrictions regarding cinemas, tattoo parlors and other businesses will be left to the governors of the country’s 16 states, the Times adds.
As for soccer fans, they will be absent from stadiums as games begin later in the month. Public events like concerts, festivals and spectator sporting events remain banned through at least the end of August.
Germany, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, has 169,430 confirmed cases but has recorded 7,392 deaths, which is fewer than neighboring countries with a larger number of total cases. The Times reports that four in five of Germany’s infected have recovered.